One of the real issues with Council over the past term has been the perceived lack of “real” communication. I will introduce Community Chat forums whereby the community can engage directly with the councillors in an informal way and discuss their issues and concerns. Council meetings do not give the community the opportunity to have a say or discuss their concerns. From the feedback I am getting around this project there needs to be further discussions and consultation, particularly around the siting of the lagoon/pool. I am fully supportive of the beautification of the area to commence the project. I will seek funding from both State and Federal Governments as this project is necessary to kick-start Port Douglas. My priority for the Douglas region is to gain the confidence of the community, by listening and co-operation. Projects such as the Waterfront Masterplan, the Daintree Masterplan, the provision of a new Gymnasium for Mossman are most important. Upgrade of maintenance services by basing vehicles and staff in Mossman is so important, thus having locals caring for the locals. This does not really fall into the Core Business of Council, but certainly Council’s Economic Development Department can assist with promotion of products and business in the area, there are Grants available through this department for new initiatives and promotion to encourage the expertise in this region. Unfortunately lower valuations do not always mean lower rates. Council has to acquire sufficient funds to sustain the community and its employees. In the times of economic hardship there has to be responsible fiscal management and council needs to be aware of the community’s ability to pay their rates. I give an undertakingto keep the rates at a level which is as close to the CPI as possible.