Dou­glas not ex­pen­sive

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

THE cost of re-es­tab­lish­ing a Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil should be min­i­mal.

I re­fer to David Carey’s anal­y­sis on be­half of the Friends Of Dou­glas Shire pre­sented at a public meet­ing in Moss­man on De­cem­ber 12 last year es­ti­mat­ing the cost to be $3 mil­lion.

The build­ings, de­pot and in­fra­struc­ture are all still there. The to­tal as­set value was $281 mil­lion and it re­mains vir­tu­ally in­tact.

There is no need to buy much new plant and equip­ment - there were al­ways plenty of con­trac­tors with trucks, back­hoes, ex­ca­va­tors, load­ers and the like in the shire.

Most of the staff are still there, it’s just the se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion that have ei­ther left or been moved to Cairns.

The ad­di­tional staff would be some­thing like a CEO, four gen­eral man­agers - cor­po­rate ser­vices, en­gi­neer­ing, plan­ning and health - and a hand­ful of oth­ers.

All the land owned by the for­mer Dou­glas Shire is still there - I es­ti­mate there would be around $20 mil­lion worth, mostly in prime spots, sur­plus to needs and very sell­able.

Dou­glas had $24 mil­lion in cash and cash equiv­a­lents in the bank at the time of amal­ga­ma­tion - if Dou­glas got a quar­ter of that back in cash it would be more than enough to cover re-es­tab­lish­ment costs.

Hav­ing paid for the start-up costs - can the Dou­glas be run more cost ef­fec­tively?

The pre­vi­ous coun­cil was fi­nan­cially one of the strong­est in Queens­land on around 30 per cent less rates that Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil cur­rently pulls out of the shire.

The FODS re­port es­ti­mates in­clude a fiveyear pro­gram which clearly shows Dou­glas can ad­e­quately main­tain its in­fra­struc­ture with enough sur­plus to fund new cap­i­tal works into the fu­ture.

Dou­glas would still be el­i­gi­ble for state and fed­eral fund­ing for ma­jor projects.

I en­cour­age ev­ery­one visit the Friends Of Dou­glas Shire web­site www. friend­sof­dou­ and ex­am­ine our fi­nan­cial model. FODS have sent these es­ti­mates to both the Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and the Queens­land Trea­sury Cor­po­ra­tion for ap­praisal.

How amaz­ing was ev­ery­one’s ef­fort to look like the 1970s era.

We got our bit right, now it’s time to get yours right.

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