REGARDLESS of where you believe the Waterfront lagoon pool should be, the news this week that a preferred site had been chosen is positive news.
There are still plenty of people in the community who believe the lagoon pool is a waste of money.
While it is best to reserve judgement until the final costings come out, you only have to look around Port Douglas for places to take young children during stinger season to realise it’s a least a step in the right direction.
It also has to be remembered that any cost for the Waterfront is likely to be shared equally between local, state and federal governments.
While there will be ongoing costs for ratepayers to maintain the lagoon pool, we are already forking out for the Cairns lagoon pool, so we might as well share the burden with them and have one of our own.
And it’s not just the lagoon pool we need to focus on in the greater Waterfront debate.
The project will transform the landscape in the main part of town with new parklands, the realignment of Mowbray St and relocation of the boat ramp to near the yacnt club.
Cairns Regional Council needs to work through any remaining issues to ensure that when the leases surrounding the car park expire next year, then all the requirements have been met to get a shovel in the ground.
That gives the council 12 months to settle on a final plan, issue tenders for construction and secure commitments from the other levels of government to get the ball rolling.
The Waterfront redevelopment has been a tough slog over many years for many local people who had the vision to push for the rejuvenation.
Council is on board now but the momentum needs to be maintained so the project isn’t swallowed up by other regions sticking their hand out for federal and state assistance.
Port Douglas needs the Waterfront redevelopment and we as a community need to get behind the project to show a united front so when it comes to securing the money to build it there will be no arguments.
If you disagree with the Waterfront, then come up with another idea to help stimulate the local economy and provide a community asset we can all enjoy.