Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

WHILE it is a shame Chi­nese in­vestor Grant Shang ap­pears to have pulled out of his deal to buy the Port Dou­glas Ma­rina, there is still plenty to look for­ward to with the fu­ture devel­op­ment of the site.

All indi­ca­tions sug­gest cur­rent owner Meridien has other po­ten­tial suit­ors in the wings and there is still the pos­si­bil­ity Mr Shang will re­turn to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.

But even if noth­ing even­tu­ates, Meridien has only one month to ac­cept the State Government’s of­fer to pay mil­lions of dol­lars to con­vert the land into free­hold or else run the risk of it go­ing to open ten­der.

The devel­op­ment of the ma­rina is the type of cat­a­clysmic devel­op­ment our re­gion needs to in­stil con­fi­dence and pro­vide em­ploy­ment.

As an added bonus, all money raised by the State Government with the sale should be di­verted to the Waterfront devel­op­ment in the fu­ture.

While Mr Shang’s at­tempted pur­chase fell over in the due dili­gence process, his en­thu­si­asm to get in­volved in the first place shows there is rea­son for op­ti­mism.

The Fed­eral Government’s changes to the visa scheme to en­cour­age wealthy overseas in­vestors to pour their sub­stan­tial re­sources into large-scale projects might just end up be­ing the clincher which kick­starts our re­vival.

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