THE Port Douglas community only has a small window of opportunity to get behind the Waterfront proposal or we will miss the funding bus ... again.
The Federal Government has $1 billion in funding to be allocated over the next 12 months to rural projects which support community development.
While this sounds like a lot of money, and it is, there are communities all around Australia putting their hand up for a slice of the pie.
The Port Douglas Waterfront project has a headstart on most other centres because of our depressed economy and the project’s reliance on federal funding to bring it to fruition.
If the community is bitterly divided in its support for any proposal put forward, then the bureaucrats holding the purse-strings will factor that into their analysis when weighing up which projects to contribute to.
While some people would prefer to have no lagoon pool at all, others are adamant it should be in the tidal zone and the community should wait for a proposal that incorporates this design before supporting it.
Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if that’s your attitude you might find we are debating the same problems in 20 years time, and the cost will be a lot more than the current $40 million.
There have been calls for a lagoon pool in Port Douglas for decades, but right now is the first feasible opportunity to actually have one built.
Calls to have the lagoon pool built next to the surf lifesaving club have about as much chance of succeeding as me winning Lotto, and I never have and never will buy a ticket.
The whole concept of having a Waterfront precinct is to keep it in the one area and there is also the matter of trying to revitalise the retail district.
Neither of these causes are achieveable by building the lagoon pool next to Four Mile Beach.
Everyone who has an opinion on the Waterfront and lagoon pool should at least take the time to look at the detail of the proposal before dismissing it.
If the community determines this option isn’t for us, then that’s fine but be prepared to shelve any concept of a lagoon pool for at least a decade.
Be prepared to compromise a little if you want to gain a lot.