Douglas to receive $9.3m
THE Douglas region will receive $9.3 million in capital works to start projects and maintain current infrastructure in a back-to-basics budget.
The new Cairns Regional Council on Monday handed down the 2012-13 financial year budget and has not committed to financing any major projects in the Douglas region, instead allocating the bare minimum to start the projects.
This includes the Port Douglas masterplan and the Daintree Gateway project, which both have received $500,000.
The first stage of the Mossman wastewater treatment plant, which requires a $40 million upgrade before 2017, has been allocated $200,000.
The Port Douglas wastewater treatment plant will be getting a new laboratory, with $65,000 allocated for the construction and also minor maintenance funds.
Winners of this budget have been several bridges from Cape Tribulation to Miallo, which were allocated over $3.6 million for their reconstruction, refurbishment and building of new bridges.
Councillor Julia Leu said despite the whole of Division 10 being allocated 10 per cent of the capital works, which is $93.75 million, the largest division of the council could do with more funds.
“It’s definitely a back-to-basics budget and the aim of the budget was to keep the rate increase as low as possible,” she said.
“There’s some key projects we have got funding for, however I want to see them completed sooner rather than later and I will be pushing to try get more funding at the budget review in the next few months.
“We’ve done some significant planning these last couple of years and we’ve waited long enough.
“Port Douglas is a premier tourist destination and council needs to make sure we get enough funds to revitalise our waterfront and present our area as attractively as possible for visitors so they return.”
Cr Leu said extra funding would enable the projects to be completed sooner and investing the money would attract private investment to the region.
On the tourism side, Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree received $430,000 in the final year of their agreement with council and Cr Leu said there is money allocated for events, including for Carnivale.
Port Douglas will also receive a new reservoir after $350,000 was allocated for the land acquisition, scoping work and the initial design. For a full copy of the budget go to www.cairns.qld.gov.au and go to special meetings.
Missed out: there is virtually nothing in the budget for Mossman year, but the council is aware of the 2017 deadline and has started the process with $200,000 allocated to design and construct the upgrade.
Daintree makeover: A major makeover is planned for the Western Precinct area to improve the experience for visitors to the Daintree.
Port Douglas Waterfront Concept Map: The proposed lagoon is on the site where rundown buildings will be demolished.