Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

ONE time when I was mess­ing around on the Bal­ly­hoo­ley steam train re­cently its tire­less man­ager Peter Lloyd re­minded me what it would be like if there were no more vol­un­teers and one day the train was put back in the shed for good. ‘‘Imag­ine if the town didn’t have this,’’ he said. It is a sig­nif­i­cant as­set to the town. Well, the same could be said if we tried to imag­ine a lo­cal econ­omy in which tourism was less sup­ported by our or­gan­i­sa­tions.

That’s why the cham­ber of com­merce - just like the Bal­ly­hoo­ley peo­ple - are push­ing for greater en­gage­ment by the com­mu­nity. It’s peo­ple giv­ing of their time and en­ergy that keeps th­ese things go­ing which sooner or later ben­e­fit us all. Just like the train, the lo­cal econ­omy can’t af­ford free rid­ers.

There are 1400 busi­nesses in the re­gion and only 100 bother to par­tic­i­pate in the cham­ber of com­merce. It’s not just busi­ness, but the whole com­mu­nity - right across the re­gion - who need to get on­board.

Due to the de­pen­dence on tourism - ac­count­ing for 92 per cent of the econ­omy - the right mind­set is vi­tal.

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