Leu stands by record

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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