A timely forum
THE founder and head of the company that owns the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas, Charles Woodward, isn’t ready to give details but last weekend he mentioned that there are plans for substantial changes at the tourist park.
One they sign off on the work ahead all will be revealed.
Such confidence and faith in the future has been hard earned by tourism operators who have stuck it out through some very challenging years. They now see the prospect of much better times, something that was also evident at the economic summit in Cairns last week.
Douglas shire was well represented at the summit, not only by sending the mayor but in fact having its own stand, a place where the DSC could showcase our wares to both government leaders and officials in the public sector and the dozens of foreign investors in the private sector.
One thing investors might have learned and liked about Douglas is the sound state of its local government finances and the stability of local government compared with some of its counterparts. It all helps make our case, on top of the natural wealth of what our region has to offer.
Some of the visionaries at the summit were seeing way past the coming boom in Chinese tourism, to India after that, and following on eventually, the rise of a valuable middle class traveller in the Philippines.
A sequel to that important summit is our own business forum in town today, an initiative of the council.
This type of engagement between the council and the business community probably needs a formal or semi-formal environment in which to take place.
Ad hoc feedback to the council is always possible but may well be less effective.
With local government elections ahead in March it’s timely for these types of discussion to take place.