Waterfront given green light
CAIRNS Regional Council yesterday unanimously endorsed the revised plan for the Port Douglas Waterfront.
The highly contentious issue of where to build the lagoon pool has finally been decided, with council taking on board input from the consultation process to make changes to the original plan but keeping it in the area of Location 4, presently the car park next to St Mary’s by the Sea church.
The site will also include a toilet block, barbecues, extensive landscaping and possibly a small kiosk.
Location 1 in the tidal zone, the original site proposed for the lagoon which received plenty of support in the consultation process, was ruled out on environmental and feasibility grounds.
Several government departments made it clear they were unlikely to approve any proposed lagoon in the tidal zone during the consultation process and it failed to match up as a feasible alternative.
Amendments were also made to plans for the proposed relocation of the boat ramp from next to the Combined Club to near the Port Douglas Yacht Club after consultation with government departments and the yacht club committee.
But even if funding was approved for the Waterfront, it would still take up to two years before construction begins.
Division 10 Councillor Julia Leu said she was happy that the plan had finally been approved.
“The site and design chosen was unanimously passed by council and will be a great boost to Port Douglas and the whole region,” she said.
“It is now really important to embrace the plan as it will provide an excellent and much-needed jobs boost, as well as a flow-on effect to other businesses. The lagoon site is a fabulous location and will only further help to drive investment in Port Douglas.”
Council’s Douglas regional manager Liz Collyer said she was proud of the changes made to the Waterfront plan after the consultation process.
“The community is a passionate one and its voice has been heard on this particular development,” she said.
Mayor Val Schier said the tidal zone site for the lagoon pool simply didn’t stack up.
“We have workshopped this extensively and clearly the inlet site is problematic and so the proposed site is the most likely and the best site,” she said.
Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce president Ken Dobbs welcomed the decision and is keen for council to now secure federal and state funding.
“Adoption of the plan will certainly be a milestone in the town’s history over the years and the approved site does have some contentious issues,” he said.
“But it is very positive that a decision has been made and we can begin getting this underway so long as State and Commonwealth funding is granted or the project cannot go ahead - it will remain just that, a plan and nothing more.”