Wa­ter­front ac­tion plan

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil will take over the leases of all land and build­ings be­tween the Com­bined Club and Su­gar Wharf next March.

Meri­dien Mari­nas is hand­ing back its leases to al­low coun­cil to move for­ward with its plans for the Wa­ter­front.

All tenants in the build­ings will be re­quired to va­cate by March and coun­cil will con­duct an au­dit of the con­di­tion of the build­ings to de­ter­mine if they can be used for com­mu­nity pur­poses.

If the build­ings are not suit­able for oc­cu­pa­tion, they will be de­mol­ished and coun­cil can cre­ate park­lands in the area.

“This could open up new op­por­tu­ni­ties for pub­lic use in the in­terim pe­riod prior to con­struc­tion of the la­goon and wa­ter­front park,” coun­cil CEO Lyn Rus­sell said.

“Coun­cil will ini­tially need to in­ves­ti­gate the safety and suit­abil­ity of the ex­ist­ing build­ings for pub­lic use, be­fore seek­ing in­put from the pub­lic as to the most ap­pro­pri­ate use for the build­ings.

“This part of the Wa­ter­front is a key com­po­nent in our long-term plan­ning and to have it back in pub­lic use would be a pos­i­tive out­come for the com­mu­nity.”

Ms Rus­sell said while it is still pre­ma­ture to sub­mit any in­di­vid­ual project for the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Aus­tralia Fund (RDAF), the Port Dou­glas Wa­ter­front Mas­ter Plan is a pri­or­ity and is near­ing the “in­vest­ment-ready” sta­tus that is re­quired for the fund­ing pool.

“We await the re­lease of the sec­ond round of fund­ing guide­lines next month, when full de­tails of the cri­te­ria will be pro­vided,” she said.

“Once Coun­cil of­fi­cers have re­ceived that in­for­ma­tion, el­i­gi­ble projects will be as­sessed and a rec­om­men­da­tion con­tain­ing the pri­or­i­ties for the fund­ing round will be pro­vided to coun­cil­lors for en­dorse­ment.

“These pri­or­i­ties will be de­ter­mined based on their like­li­hood of suc­cess un­der the fund­ing cri­te­ria.”

In the mean­time, coun­cil of­fi­cers have be­gun work on ap­pli­ca­tions for con­ver­sion of land ten­ure and re­source en­ti­tle­ment for the Wa­ter­front.

They are also work­ing on ap­pli­ca­tions to be lodged for the bal­ance of land re­lated to the Wa­ter­front and land at Spin­naker Ave re­lated to the fu­ture site of the re­lo­cated boat ramp.

In­sert la­goon here: an over­view of where it would be

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