THE present economic malaise in the Cairns/Port Douglas area is largely due to the tourism downturn.
Port Douglas has been over-developed with holiday units, many of which will never give an economic return to owners.
Tourism will remain in the doldrums in the medium-term, especially with the high cost of airline tickets to Cairns from within Australia.
What we need is a circuit breaker. We need an initiative that will attract new investment and jobs to the area.
I propose a technical university based in Mossman, with a TAFE component and advanced specialist studies in oceanography, marine science, agriculture, nursing and business.
All areas of learning specifically designed to complement the region’s existing needs.
This will diversify the local economy and lead to an upgrade in services, especially the Mossman hospital.
All it needs is support from the local chamber of commerce and bold and imaginative government.