A timely fo­rum

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

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.

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