Dou­glas to re­ceive $9.3m

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.

Photo by MARC MCCOR­MACK

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.

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