Dain­tree group dusts of plans for cy­clone shel­ter

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

A GROUP of Dain­tree res­i­dents are dust­ing off a pre-amal­ga­ma­tion plan to build a com­mu­nity cen­tre north of the Dain­tree River.

Brian Searle, who led the push in 2007 to build a com­mu­nity cen­tre on do­nated coun­cil land at Di­wan, said coun­cil could tap the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s $1 bil­lion Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Fund for the out­stand­ing fund­ing re­quired to get the pro­ject off the ground.

Fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity en­gage­ment meet­ing in Cow Bay in Fe­bru­ary 2007, the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil set aside $450,000 to build the cen­tre in the 2007/08 bud­get, “on the pro­viso that match­ing fund­ing is re­ceived from the Re­gional Part­ner­ship Pro­gram”.

How­ever, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s RPP was wrapped up fol­low­ing the La­bor win in the 2007 elec­tion, leav­ing the funds stranded in the coun­cil’s bud­get.

“The money is still there (in the coun­cil bud­get),” Divi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said.

The cen­tre, which would be used as a multi-pur­pose hall as well as a cy­clone cen­tre, was to in­clude a com­mer­cial kitchen, bar and stage, at an es­ti­mated cost of $880,000.

The pro­posed cen­tre would, the coun­cil re­port at the time states, “be a space where the com­mu­nity can have a sense of abil­ity to af­fect change in their own com­mu­ni­ties ... and cel­e­brate their unique­ness”.

“It would be fab­u­lous to have a pur­pose-built com­mu­nity cen­tre in the Dain­tree, as the cur­rent fa­cil­ity is woe­fully in­ad­e­quate,” Cr Leu said. “This pro­ject would have to be pri­ori­tised in the Re­gional Road Map to have any chance of fund­ing.

The fi­nal RDA re­gional road map is due out to­mor­row.

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