Sher­a­ton no shel­ter mi­rage

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

THE Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce has called for the pro­posed cy­clone shel­ter to be built on the grounds of the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage to make it eco­nom­i­cally vi­able for the com­mu­nity.

The shel­ter, which is planned to be built at the Port Dou­glas State School by 2012, will be utilised as a com­mu­nity cen­tre and in­door sports cen­tre.

Cham­ber pres­i­dent Ken Dobbs said Port Dou­glas al­ready has a com­mu­nity cen­tre and hav­ing the shel­ter at the Mi­rage would make it big­ger and ac­ces­si­ble for con­fer­ences.

The idea is to in­cor­po­rate the cy­clone shel­ter in with Sher­a­ton owner David Mariner’s plan to de­velop a com­mu­nity con­ven­tion fa­cil­ity at the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage by trans­fer­ring the land to the state.

“This sce­nario could pro­vide a huge eco­nomic ben­e­fit to Port Dou­glas with no additional long term cost to the state,” Mr Dobbs said.

“The land could be utilised for a com­bined evac­u­a­tion, con­fer­ence and sport­ing fa­cil­ity.”

Mr Dobbs said hav­ing an­other com­mu­nity cen­tre in Port Dou­glas would turn the com­mu­nity hall into a “white ele­phant”.

“The com­mu­nity hall cost $2.3 mil­lion and it’s not be­ing used for any­thing other than sport­ing events and the oc­ca­sional art shows, it’s ex­tremely un­der­utilised,” he said.

The Cham­ber’s pro­posal comes at an es­ti­mated cost of an additional $9 mil­lion to make the cy­clone shel­ter a $15 mil­lion fa­cil­ity.

“The out­come would be an in­fra­struc­ture which pro­vides all the needs of the cur­rent pro­posal and de­liv­ers a huge eco­nomic ben­e­fit to Port Dou­glas and the state,” Mr Dobbs said.

State Mem­ber for Cook Ja­son O’Brien said he is will­ing to look at a for­mal pro­posal but time is run­ning out.

“I’m happy to have a look at it and show it to the rel­e­vant min­is­ters but I haven’t seen any­thing and the clock is tick­ing,” he said.

“The cy­clone shel­ter will be more than a cy­clone shel­ter un­der the cur­rent pro­posal, it will also be a com­mu­nity sport and en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre and have all sorts of ac­tiv­i­ties.

“I would imag­ine if peo­ple wanted to hire the cen­tre for par­tic­u­lar events like con­fer­ences I’m sure that would be pos­si­ble un­der the cur­rent ar­range­ment.”

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