Fo­rum put it out there

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - THE GROOVE -

DOU­GLAS Shire Coun­cil should be com­mended for in­sti­gat­ing its busi­ness fo­rum, held in Port Dou­glas last week.

The ball­room at the QT Re­sort was packed, tes­ta­ment of course to the in­ter­est in the event and the fact that it was timely, as con­fi­dence in the area grows and there are plenty of eco­nomic song­birds singing at the mo­ment – they just might add up to an eco­nomic spring or sum­mer.

The con­sis­tent theme was the need for col­lab­o­ra­tion – be­tween busi­ness and coun­cil, and the busi­nesses among them­selves. Join the cham­ber of commerce, was a pas­sion­ate cry.

And they’re right. A uni­fied voice of course is much stronger than many dis­parate ones. I read a fed­eral politi­cian the other day who said in­fra­struc­ture for the Far North would not be de­liv­ered un­til the re­gion made it per­fectly clear what the vi­sion was and de­manded ac­tion.

The state of the nbn here is a per­fect and press­ing ex­am­ple of the in­fra­struc­ture fail­ings of the re­gion.

It’s get­ting here too slowly and we need to be uni­fied in our opin­ion and stat­ing it. It’s col­lab­o­ra­tion time again. Other speak­ers ex­tolled the en­vi­ron­men­tal val­ues and unique­ness of our re­gion. Again it raises the ques­tion of how to de­velop, so that the econ­omy ticks over, with­out ru­in­ing the very thing we live here for and the tourists come to ex­pe­ri­ence. Ross Gar­naut painted a pic­ture of sugar and tourism making a magic for­mula for suc­cess, with en­ergy at the core.

In line with that, the mayor re­minded ev­ery­one that the draft town plan is with the state gov­ern­ment and the time will come when pub­lic dis­cus­sion and feed­back will be called for.

I gather the idea is to hold the fo­rum again in 12 months. The test of this one will be to recog­nise what’s changed be­tween now and then.

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