Lagoon still dry
MEMBER for Cook Jason O’brien has contradicted his boss over potential funding arrangements for a proposed Waterfront lagoon in Port Douglas.
Premier Anna Bligh specifically mentioned the Port Douglas Waterfront last Friday when announcing a new $20 million tourism infrastructure fund “to deliver new tourism facilities such as lagoons, public attractions and street-scaping” if Labor is re-elected on March 24.
But Mr O’brien quickly hosed down any hopes the announcement signalled a significant investment in Stage 1 of the Waterfront, consisting of the construction of a lagoon pool, relocation of the boat ramp and the Waterfront park at an estimated cost of $35.3 million.
“The Premier specifically mentioned the Port Douglas Waterfront at the announcement of the new fund on Friday,” Mr O’brien said.
“But it’s not going to be enough to do the lagoon.
“Along with the money from the freeholding of the marina leases I’m confident of getting at least some money, a few million, from the fund to do some work on the project - maybe landscaping or some work to the sugar wharf should council put in an application.”
Port Douglas Chamber of Com- merce president Ken Dobbs said the town needed new infrastructure that represented a serious investment in the improvement of the visitor experience and in turn attracted further private investment.
“We need significant funds, not just a dribble,” Mr Dobbs said.
“Neither side in the election campaign has put a good offer of funding on the table so far.”
Local business people will have the chance to hear from and question both Mr O’brien and the LNP’S candidate for Cook David Kempton at a luncheon at the Sheraton Mirage next Thursday.
Booking details are available at portdouglaschamber.com.au.