REVITALISING PORT DOUGLAS Leaders are what is needed
DELIVERING the revitalisation of Port Douglas will require a strong co-ordinated approach and action plan led by a team of leaders supported by the town, according to the Melbourne Business School.
When the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce (PDCC), Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree (TPDD) and Division 10 councillor Julia Leu discussed this recommendation, they decided to focus on economic development.
“Everyone had an opportunity to talk through a number of issues and at end of the meeting we recognised that we have an obvious economic development deficiency in the community,” Cr Leu said.
“Everyone is quite shocked by the recent closure of Bistro 3, it’s quite distressing on the back of so many recent retail closures - we’re at a critical point in our economic future and must do something to arrest this decline and revitalise our area.
“We do need to work together as a community, support and get behind this proposed new initiative but first we have agreed to seek expert advice on the exact structure on the economic development group.”
The Melbourne Business School reports suggests the structure for a new independent board focusing on economic development, marketing and community engagement, however the proposed economic development group will branch off TPDD.
“We’re talking about an independent economic development group that involves business and community sectors across the Douglas area,” Cr Leu said.
“We’ve looked closely at the report and considered the recommendations but at this stage subject to seeking this expert advice, this is the best way to address the deficiency in economy development identified in the MBS report.”
Both the MBS report and the proposed economic development initiative suggest working closely with the council and representing the whole Douglas region to attract and support external investors and develop economic and strategic plans.
“I want to work very closely with both PDCC and TPDD but also other areas of Douglas once we establish the economic development group,” Cr Leu said.
“The proposed group has enormous potential it’s about being inclusive of the rest of Douglas and instigating and engaging with business around our region also suffering to the same extent.”
The report suggests a time frame of four months to get the board operational and start addressing recommendations.
“In my opinion there is an urgency to do something as soon as possible and I want to see this group established well within that four-month recommendation,” Cr Leu said.
“Once we seek expert advice on the exact economic development structure and when we’re able to present something for further consultation we will present to the community and seek feedback.
“Under economic development we can look at better coordinated training to improve and address customer service issues and in the future, Carnivale and many other current and possible future cultural initiatives could all be driven and organised by the group.”
The Melbourne Business School’s Revitalising Port Douglas has detailed the decline in Port Douglas and steps to revitalisation. Further information that did not make the report can be found in the appendix section. To obtain a full copy email secretary@ portdouglaschamber. com.au