Leu stands by record
Council’s planners are assessing TRM’s Development Application which was submitted on 20 January 2016. There is no stalemate, the Development Application is still undergoing assessment by the council’s planners as required under the planning legislation. As is normal with a Development Application of this type, a report will be prepared for consideration at a future Council meeting.
It is a State requirement of TRM to demonstrate that any development of the marina does not diminish the viability of marine-based industrial uses before it is granted freehold of the land and tenure extended for the marina. I strongly welcome the TRM’s proposed development and anticipate that the application will be approved, subject to conditions such as public boardwalk access along the waterfront, provision for the commercial fishing fleet, and consistency with the Port THIS issue the Port Douglas and Mossman Gazette canvassed the two mayoral candidates on some of the main issues facing voters at the council elections this month.
We put the same questions to mayoral candidates JULIA LEU and ROY WEAVERS.
Douglas Waterfront Master Plan.
The shire’s finances are in a healthy position and council has done a remarkable job in the first two years of operation. Council is on track to outperform the 2015/16 budget and to achieve a balanced budget by 2019.
Rate rises have been reasonable, absolutely nothing like the dire predictions of QTC, which was a 28.45 per cent increase in the first year alone.
The 2015 rate rise was 3.9 per cent, well below the forecast. Each year Council reviews and adjusts the rates based on budget requirements at the time.
Councillors should make decisions that are fair and equitable across the Shire, and recognise particular circumstances of the various communities.
Under my leadership, Council has strongly supported tourism, our key industry and introduced a number of specific economic development initiatives, new events and business assistance programs, that support other important business sectors, such as agriculture.
Council provides $451,500 in funding to Tourism, Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD), an increase of 5 per cent from the previous year. There is now certainty with a three-year agreement. Douglas Shire contributes more to tourism per capita than any other Local Government Area in Queensland.
Specific initiatives such as the inaugural Douglas Business Forum, the Business Development Fund, the Film Locations Database have been well received. $150,000 for Major events in 2915/16, support for small business with access to web based links, tools and grant information, “Work & Invest” in Paradise initiative. Over $750,000 in funding to local community organisations annually.
Our extensive and unprecedented capital works program, is the biggest in the history of the Shire has employed and benefited local businesses and contractors. By mid 2016, we have completed over $48 million, including more than 423 million in Disaster Recovery Works, ensuring good access for our tourism operators throughout the Shire. Council’s success in obtaining over $30 million in external grants for major infrastructure projects, including the Port Douglas Water Reservoir and the Mossman Aged care Facility will benefit many in the Shire. Examples of new projects, include improving the cycling network ($2 million over 5 years) and the proposed Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail.
There are a number of plans that together outline a vision for the shire. These include the five-year Corporate Plan, the draft Town Planning Scheme, which will go out extensive consultation in the near future. If re-elected as mayor I will ensure that Council completes an Economic Development Strategy and Sustainability Plan and a Community Plan.
These will all involve significant consultation to ensure a fair and equitable approach across the Shire, to protect our enviable lifestyle and plan for the future.
I am committed to working closely with all of the community and business sectors to achieve a strong, vibrant, diverse and sustainable economy, that provides more employment opportunities for residents, and protects our unique environment and lifestyle.
As the Mayor in 2015, Julia Leu