Wa­ter re­port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

WHEN the new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil com­mences next year it will be pre­sented with re­ports rec­om­mend­ing the de­vel­op­ment of com­plex wa­ter and land­scape plans.

Trans­fer man­ager Jeff Tate has been work­ing with oth­ers be­hind the scenes to de­velop com­pre­hen­sive re­ports, amal­ga­mat­ing pre­vi­ous re­ports, doc­u­ments and plans, to present to the new coun­cil on Jan­uary 1.

The process of re­view­ing all of the pre­vi­ous data is to iden­tify key is­sues, con­sid­er­ing the re­gion has no dams or con­tin­gency plans for the fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity of wa­ter.

‘‘There is a lot of con­tro­versy around var­i­ous as­pects of wa­ter in the Dou­glas Shire and there has been a lot of work done,’’ Mr Tate said.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant the new coun­cil comes up to speed on what has been done in the past, what work is be­ing now and sum­marise all of those re­ports to iden­tify any gaps in them.

‘‘We re­ally need a com­pre­hen­sive wa­ter plan with a higher de­gree of in­te­gra­tion and to in­clude wa­ter se­cu­rity and the is­sues around wa­ter sup­ply.’’

Wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture will be in­cluded in the sum­maris­ing re­port and a sep­a­rate re­port on land­scapes will also be de­vel­oped, de­tail­ing both nat­u­ral and built land­scapes across the re­gion.

‘‘The in­ten­tion is to put that in­for­ma­tion to the new coun­cil and dis­cuss with them the need for a com­pre­hen­sive land­scape plan across the whole coun­cil area,’’ Mr Tate said.

‘‘It would in­clude nail­ing down the land­scape style for var­i­ous town­ships in the coun­cil area, recog­nis­ing they are dif­fer­ent and also their role in the nat­u­ral land­scape, to deal with things like where we would plant in­dige­nous species ver­sus in­tro­duced species.

‘‘ The town plan­ning scheme in­tends to guide both the de­vel­op­ers and coun­cil but this is only one com­po­nent – this re­port will put a bit more de­tail around what the coun­cil needs to be do­ing in its own pub­lic space.’’

Mr Tate said work was pro­ceed­ing on strate­gic is­sues, in­clud­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and a com­mu­nity en­gage­ment plan, and th­ese will also be work­shopped with the elected coun­cil over the com­ing months.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

WA­TER ON THE AGENDA: Jeff Tate is pre­par­ing a re­port

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