Pollies’ visual pollution
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.