To­wards a bet­ter Port Dou­glas

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

I would like to bring up some points that I have re­flected on while liv­ing in town and see if your read­ers share my vi­sion or at least start a de­bate. It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber Port Dou­glas’s at­trac­tion is its nat­u­ral beauty. Hence we should do ev­ery­thing we can to make that beauty ev­i­dent. Like all great tourist re­gions, from the es­planades in south­ern France to the great walk­ways of the world, peo­ple love walk­ing on hol­i­days. Al­though we have a mag­nif­i­cent and unique beach it would be great if we had a walk­way from the Com­bineds Club around the point con­nect­ing to Four Mile Beach. It would be part river edge, part el­e­vated walk­way look­ing over the ocean. The views would be spec­tac­u­lar. We would in­tro­duce an ex­pe­ri­ence that is beau­ti­ful and at­tracts thou­sands of peo­ple. At present, the only peo­ple who see that area are those go­ing out on boats or a se­lect few who stay in houses on the hill. Most of the tourists walk up and down Macrossan Street with its va­cant shops and Coles. That is not a great viewpoint or a great ex­pe­ri­ence or a great rea­son to come back. The Point area of the hill is com­pletely un­der­utilised. A walk­way, el­e­vated over the sea, would be an unique at­trac­tion and world­wide photo op­por­tu­nity. It would cre­ate a mag­net for peo­ple to en­joy the area and there­fore in­crease com­merce. It would help get those shops rented. It would en­rich our com­mu­nity fi­nan­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally. This would cre­ate a flow on ef­fect and con­nect Macrossan Street to the river on to Four Mile Beach and there­fore com­plete the cir­cle . Per­haps the water­front land around Rex Smeal Park can be turned into a trop­i­cal botan­i­cal gar­den where peo­ple can mar­vel at out nat­u­ral plant and fauna abun­dance. This could be done in con­junc­tion with the rel­e­vant de­part­ments of James Cook Univer­sity. What about an am­phithe­atre fac­ing the sea down at Rex Smeal Park? What about an aquar­ium with a great cafe restau­rant over­look­ing the bay? Not every­body can or wants to go to the reef on a boat, so why not bring the reef to the peo­ple? How many peo­ple re­alise Port Dou­glas is fac­ing a river and bay? We need to pol­ish what we have. Why don’t we have a per­ma­nent struc­ture on Four Mile Beach to pro­vide year-round swim­ming? Some­thing like the Brighton Baths in Mel­bourne? It would be aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing and much safer. The scenic drive from Palm Cove to Port Dou­glas should be an at­trac­tion in and of it­self. Just as the Great Ocean Road is. Why aren’t we more aware of the world stan­dard beauty? Let’s get peo­ple on that road, and stop them get­ting stuck in Palm Cove or Cairns.

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