OP­POS­ING COUN­CIL­LORS SPEAK OUT ON WA­TER­FRONT

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

PORT Dou­glas is a step closer to get­ting fund­ing for its Wa­ter­front Mas­ter Plan af­ter Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil voted to sub­mit the project to the Re­gional De­velop Aus­tralia Fund com­mit­tee for con­sid­er­a­tion.

The RDAF is a Fed­eral Govern­ment ini­tia­tive which awards grants of up to $25 mil­lion to projects of re­gional sig­nif­i­cance.

Coun­cil held a spe­cial meet­ing on Mon­day to de­cide on a sole project to put for­ward to the RDAF com­mit­tee, with the Wa­ter­front the only one of 18 coun­cil projects which met the fund­ing cri­te­ria.

Coun­cil­lors Nancy Lanskey, Sno Bon­neau and Paul Gre­gory voted against the Wa­ter­front pro­posal, with Cr Lanskey in­stead putting for­ward a road­works project which wasn’t even on the orig­i­nal list as a con­sid­er­a­tion and is in­el­i­gi­ble for RDAF fund­ing and the other two coun­cil­lors ar­gu­ing against the fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity and re­gional im­por­tance of the Wa­ter­front.

Deputy Mayor Mar­garet Cochrane was one of the five coun­cil­lors who voted to sup­port the Wa­ter­front ap­pli­ca­tion de­spite ear­lier in­di­cat­ing her pref­er­ence for the Cairns CBD Mas­ter Plan, which is not ad­vanced enough for RDAF fund­ing.

Stage 1 of the Wa­ter­front Mas­ter Plan com­prises the con­struc­tion of a la­goon pool, re­lo­ca­tion of the boat ramp and the Wa­ter­front park and is es­ti­mated to cost $35.3 mil­lion.

Un­der the pro­posal en­dorsed by the ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors, coun­cil is seek­ing a $10 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion to Stage 1 by the Fed­eral Govern­ment through the RDAF, in ad­di­tion to $20 mil­lion from the

Step closer: the Port Dou­glas Wa­ter­front

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