Waterfront eligible for multi-million boost
CAIRNS Regional Council is likely to decide next week if the Port Douglas Waterfront is likely to be recommended for the latest round of funding for the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund.
The Federal Government yesterday launched rounds three and four of the RDAF which will allocate more than $200 million to regional projects.
Expressions of interest for the funding opens today, with $50 million allocated to round three for minor funding open to small towns of 30,000 people or less.
Applications can be made for funding of between $50,000$500,000 for councils or not-forprofit organisations which fit under the economic, community, arts and culture or sports and recreation categories.
Round four funding will be determined simultaneously with $175 million to be allocated for major funding, with successful projects eligible for a cash injection of between $500,000 and $15 million from the Federal Government.
Only councils and not-for-profit organisations can apply and the projects need to fit under the category of economic, arts and culture, community or sport and recreation to be considered.
Successful projects must begin within 12 months of signing the agreement and be completed by December 31, 2016.
Applications for funding need to be received by December 6.
Division 10 Councillor Julia Leu last night said she would seek to have the RDAF matter put on the agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting to determine council’s priorities to meet the tight deadline.
Cr Leu said she was heartened by Senator Jan McLucas’ comments yesterday that out of the 46 successful projects in the second round of the RDAF, more than half had missed out on funding in the first round.
Council put forward the Port Douglas Waterfront for consideration for funding in the second round of the RDAF but was unsuccessful.
For the Port Douglas Waterfront to be considered for funding, councillors would have to support the plan endorsed by the previous council in August 2011 which included a lagoon in what is now the car park adjacent to St Mary’s church.
“I continue to get support from business and the broader community for the Port Douglas Waterfront plan endorsed by the previous council and believe the Waterfront is very important for the economic future of our region,” she said.
“It would be a fabulous facility that could be enjoyed not just by tourists but locals as well and will be urging all councillors to get behind the bid to get federal funding for a project which is important for the whole Cairns region.
“The Port Douglas Waterfront plan is shovel-ready and as Mayor Bob Manning says it is a priority of this council and this is a perfect opportunity to get it happening.”