Gate­way open in May

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

THE Moss­man Gorge Gate­way is on track to of­fi­cially open in May.

The $18 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment will re­sult in a com­plete trans­for­ma­tion in how vis­i­tors use and ac­cess Moss­man Gorge, with a new en­ter­per­a­tive cen­tre and the clo­sure of the road­way to gen­eral traf­fic with a new turn-around fa­cil­ity for a shut­tle-bus to ferry peo­ple to and from the Gorge.

Gen­eral man­ager Greg Er­win said the project was an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment for the re­gion.

“The civil works are well and truly un­der­way and the land­scap­ing will soon be started along with the fit-out of the build­ing,” Mr Er­win said.

“We are very pleased with the progress and when it is all fin­ished the build­ing will look stun­ning both in­side and out.

“The floors in the café and the gallery in par­tic­u­lar will look amaz­ing with highly pol­ished con­crete that looks just like flecked mar­ble.

“And it will be a very user friendly build­ing too with every­thing set out to en­hance the visit of tourists and lo­cals.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of the shut­tle-bus will make it so much safer to get to the gorge and as any­one who has ever driven on the road to the gorge knows, it is not very good and also big coaches can­not use it.

“This will make it much safer for ev­ery­one and so en­hance their ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing the Gorge as well as mak­ing it much more sus­tain­able with the re­moval of traf­fic.

“And with up to 400,000 tourists vis­it­ing the Moss­man Gorge each year, sus­tain­abil­ity is a very big is­sue that we have to now al­ways ad­dress.”

As well as the Gate­way Cen­tre build­ing on the site, there will be an ad­min­is­tra­tion block for the cen­tre as well as the Depart­ment of Environment and Re­source Man­age­ment and a 20-bed hos­tel for re­mote trainees.

“We are par­tic­u­larly pleased to be able to of­fer our re­mote trainees, who come from as far away as Cape York, com­fort­able ac­com­mo­da­tion so that they can con­cen­trate on their stud­ies while they are with us be­fore they even­tu­ally take on jobs in the wider com­mu­nity,” Mr Er­win said.

“And once the cen­tre is open, dur­ing the high sea­son, we hope to be em­ploy­ing 70 peo­ple of which 80 per cent will be in­dige­nous.”

Work in progress: gen­eral man­ager Greg Er­win and di­rec­tor of sales Philip New­land check out the Gate­way plans

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