Pol­lies’ vis­ual pol­lu­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

WHY are politi­cians above the law? No­body else could put up signs all over the place, so why should they? the for­mer Dou­glas shire Coun­cil did not al­low po­lit­i­cal posters at elec­tion time. Only when we be­came part of Cairns did the prac­tice spread to our area. Do they re­ally sway the voter? If not, why do we have to suf­fer vis­ual pol­lu­tion? Com­mu­nity club or tourist wa­ter­front restau­rant? This is the dif­fi­cult choice mem­bers of the Port Dou­glas and Dis­trict Com­bined Clubs face as the Club’s man­age­ment com­mit­tee seeks ap­proval from the mem­bers to raise a $2 mil­lion loan for the pro­posed ren­o­va­tions at the forth­com­ing AGM. ( 9am Sun­day, Septem­ber 22). The com­mit­tee’s rea­son­ing is to pro­vide mem­bers and guests with im­proved club fa­cil­i­ties and take the pres­sure off the deck din­ing area. In sim­ple terms, a $2 mil­lion com­mer­cial loan will ex­poses the club to a debt re­pay­ment plan at 8 per cent of more than $340,000 a year over an eight-year year term ex­clud­ing bud­get over runs. This will de­mand an in­cre­men­tal rise on cur­rent gross rev­enues of about $1 - $1.5 mil­lion pa to ad­e­quately ser­vice this fa­cil­ity. What hap­pens if the club de­faults on the loan due to un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances? A war with Syria, GFC II, a cy­clone, a rad­i­cal drop in tourism num­bers, a pi­lots strike? The pos­si­ble ram­i­fi­ca­tions are clear. Good­bye club. The PD&DCC is a not-for-profit com­mu­nity club with no se­cure as­sets other than poker ma­chine li­cences, stock at hand and good­will There­fore, to make an in­formed de­ci­sion, mem­bers should be en­ti­tled to see a de­tailed 10-year busi­ness plan and SWOT anal­y­sis to make an in­formed de­ci­sion. As a for­mer vice pres­i­dent and com­mit­tee mem­ber for six years, sev­eral more af­ford­able al­ter­na­tives were dis­cussed by pre­vi­ous com­mit­tees given that fur­ther ex­pan­sion is gen­uinely war­ranted. Here are three: 1. Ex­tend the deck out front which is still within the lease bound­ary. 2. Ex­tend and open out the front of the club to ex­pand the of­fice, stor­age area, pokie room and cre­ate a flex­i­ble multi-pur­pose area for small pri­vate func­tions, club meet­ing room and lounge space for din­ers wait­ing for a ta­ble. 3. The club could bet­ter utilise the avail­able space that it has, cor­don off the en­tire north­ern sec­tion of the club from the side bar to the end of the deck as a mem­bers only area, this would re­duce the amount of vis­it­ing din­ers and would al­low the club to con­cen­trate on im­prov­ing the qual­ity of meals and ser­vice. In my view, the club would be much bet­ter or­gan­ised as a ‘‘club’’ to look af­ter our mem­bers and al­low the club to bud­get ac­cord­ingly to fund fu­ture de­vel­op­ment. Each of th­ese op­tions could be ad­e­quately funded with­out un­due fi­nan­cial pres­sure. The club could set aside suf­fi­cient funds over the next 10 years and ne­go­ti­ate a per­pet­ual lease or even the free­hold ac­qui­si­tion of the land from the state govern­ment.

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