Dou­glas de­ferred

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A re­view on the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil’s cap­i­tal works bud­get for this cur­rent fi­nan­cial year has re­vealed three ma­jor projects for the Dou­glas re­gion have had funds de­ferred.

The Kil­laloe Trans­fer Sta­tion shed was sup­posed to have pub­lic dis­posal bays built with $120,000 ap­proved in this year’s bud­get but the money has been re­moved.

In the re­view it said the rea­son was: ‘‘Project de­ferred un­til the Trans­fer Sta­tion Mas­ter­plan is com­pleted and the re­sults an­a­lysed.’’

Al­ready about $600,000 has been spent on in­ves­ti­gat­ing and de­vel­op­ing a 20ML reser­voir and ded­i­cated in­let and out­let mains for Port Dou­glas and although land has been val­ued and work has started with engi­neers and sur­vey­ors, the project has been de­ferred.

‘‘Bud­get re­leased as con­struc­tion will not com­mence un­til 2013/2014 as land ac­qui­si­tions are still un­der­way,’’ the re­view said.

Both projects had been pre­vi­ously ap­proved by the former Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil and had no op­po­si­tion when they were pre­vi­ously ap­proved last year be­fore Dou­glas de­cided to dea­mal­ga­mate.

Also in the bud­get, $1.8 mil­lion had been al­lo­cated for the Woobadda Creek cross­ing, how­ever, over $450,000 of the funds have been de­ferred to 13/14 and 14/15 fi­nan­cial years, with no ex­pla­na­tion. The re­main­ing $1.2 mil­lion al­lo­ca­tion is funds from a State Government grant.

Di­vi­sion 10 Coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said the de­ci­sion to de­fer funds on ma­jor projects in the Dou­glas re­gion raised many ques­tions over whether this will be­come a com­mon oc­cur­rence un­til Jan­uary 1 when a new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil takes the reins.

‘‘I am very con­cerned that ma­jor projects that have al­ready been ap­proved in pre­vi­ous CRC bud­gets are ap­par­ently be­ing de­ferred with­out ad­e­quate ex­pla­na­tion or to the fu­ture tran­si­tion man­ager,’’ she said.

‘‘In the case of the Port Dou­glas reser­voir, this de­ci­sion was made by a coun­cil of­fi­cer with­out ref­er­ence to coun­cil, un­til I asked a ques­tion at the last coun­cil meet­ing on March 20.’’

Cr Leu said she would con­tinue to fol­low up ques­tions raised about the de­ci­sion to de­fer ma­jor projects and said if need be, she would be tak­ing her con­cerns di­rectly to Lo­cal Government Min­is­ter David Crisa­fulli.

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