WHILE the community certainly deserves one, the Douglas region should also be very grateful to be one of only 10 places in Queensland to receive a cyclone shelter.
At the top of that list should be the Dubai sheik who contributed $30 million after Cyclone Yasi in February to build cyclone shelters across the Far North.
To be honest I can’t even recall his name and have no idea what prompted him to make such a generous gesture, but his contribution will no doubt save lives.
His efforts pretty much painted the Queensland Government into a corner to stump up an equal amount towards the construction of cyclone shelters in the state.
Premier Anna Bligh’s announcement of matching the sheik’s funding came only a few months after her representatives told the Gazette the Queensland Government would not be honouring a commitment from her predecessor to build cyclone shelters across the vulnerable Far North.
Member for Cook Jason O’Brien also deserves recognition for stating a strong case for the Douglas region to receive a cyclone shelter, as there were plenty of communities which put their hand up and also had a strong case but were unsuccessful.
Cairns Regional Council also played a significant role on promoting the benefits of a cyclone shelter in the Douglas region, considering the best alternative we have is an insuitable indoor sports centre.
While all of these efforts have been welcomed, some of the good work could certainly come undone if the planning is rushed through.
Community stakeholders who have sat in on meetings with government representatives appear confused and frustrated the proposed cyclone shelter is being done without proper consultation.
It remains unclear what the cyclone shelter will be used for for the majority of time, and early suggestions it would be a community facility are now clouded.
Emergency services are also not too happy about the fact there will be no provision for parking.
Yes, the community appreciates the fact we are getting a cyclone shelter, but we want to get it right.