HERE’S hoping Premier Anna Bligh’s actions speak louder than her words.
While the Premier’s announcement last week while visiting Port Douglas that the State Government would invest any windfall received from the sale of the Port Douglas marrina land back into the community - estimated at up to $40 million - it wouldn’t be the first time a politician has gone back on their word if it didn’t actually happen.
Only in the past few days have we seen Prime Minister Julia Gillard eat her own statement over the Federal Government’s planned introduction of a carbon tax, an initiative she ruled out only last August during the election campaign.
But for the moment you can only take the Premier on what she has committed her Government to. Furthermore, Premier Bligh said the State Government would not wait for the sale of the marina land - which could be as far as 10 years from being finalised - before investing the potential windfall on projects in the region.
These statements only give further urgency to getting the Waterfront development off the ground.
At least the Premier came to see firsthand the devastating impact of a low Australian dollar, the negative perception of natural disasters and a prolonged period of financial hardship triggered by the global financial crisis three years ago on our local economy.
Now armed with that knowledge, it is fresh in her mind and she has acknowledged the community deserves the many millions of dollars the State Government will reap from the sale of the marina land.
The Waterfront project cannot be rushed in the planning stage, but it can certainly be rushed into implementation.
The final outcome of the feasibility study into the lagoon pool will be announced later this month and there are many more aspects of the Waterfront, such as the realignment of Mowbray St, which probably bear far more importance and cost.
It is up to the community to keep the pressure on all levels of government - local, state and federal - to commit to the project and fast-track any contributions once the necessary plans are in place. One only has to look at recent occupancy rates to realise we need it.