Edi­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

IF CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil wants to pro­mote shovel-ready projects for fed­eral fund­ing to qual­ify for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Aus­tralia Fund, there’s plenty of al­ter­na­tives in the Dou­glas re­gion more wor­thy than a new cy­cle path, an in­door sports cen­tre and a re­cy­cled wa­ter pro­ject in Cairns.

While Mayor Val Shier ar­gues the Water­front is not yet ready for fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, there’s a very strong case there are el­e­ments out­side the la­goon pool should cer­tainly be at that stage.

Which­ever op­tion is fi­nally de­cided on for the la­goon pool, the boat ramp will need to be re­lo­cated and there are many mil­lions of dol­lars to be spent up­grad­ing Rex Smeal and An­zac Park.

As Mem­ber for Cook Ja­son O’Brien states, the plans for the Water­front are well ahead of many other projects which will seek a slice of the fed­eral fund­ing pie.

The three Cairns-based projects the coun­cil in­tends to put for­ward for some of the $100 mil­lion in fed­eral fund­ing up for grabs are all projects which were al­ready in the pipe­line for the coun­cil and the bud­get has blown out by mil­lions of dol­lars over the past few years. By wait­ing on the Water­front, the pro­ject is likely to get pushed back in the queue.

It would only take a fed­eral by-elec­tion in one seat and the mi­nor­ity Gil­lard Gov­ern­ment could fall over, which would jea­par­dise the re­main­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions on the ta­ble.

Mean­while, the $42 mil­lion Moss­man waste­water treat­ment plant up­grade sits idle, as does the sew­er­ing of the north­ern beach sub­urbs of Cooya, Wonga and Newell.

These are both projects which are ab­so­lutely vi­tal to the fu­ture growth and de­vel­op­ment of the Dou­glas re­gion.

With­out them, there is no po­ten­tial for pop­u­la­tion growth, and their progress would also ar­guably stim­u­late the lo­cal con­struc­tion in­dus­try as much as the Water­front.

It was heart­en­ing to see the coun­cil put in so much ef­fort over the past 12 months to get the Water­front de­vel­op­ment to the stage it is at now.

But as was wit­nessed only last week with the coun­cil’s re­fusal to ini­ti­ate a chlo­rine-free trial based on what should be reg­u­lar main­te­nance is­sues any­way, there’s no point do­ing half a job.

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