AS PROSPECTIVE MAYOR HOW WOULD YOU BEST REPRESENT AND SUPPORT THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IN THE DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL?
As Mayor I have been a proactive ambassador for tourism, our key industry. I have taken every opportunity to promote and champion tourism in all media forms, TV, print, radio and on-line. Examples: Channel 7 Sunrise, Weekend Australian, Port FM, ABC radio, New Daily article, Gazette, Cairns Post and magazine articles. Have been a proactive and supportive TPDD Board member, appointed by DSC since 2007. Advocated strongly for Council funding for TPDD while a CRC Councillor and Mayor. Sponsorship for a growing events calendar, Business Development & Events Funding Program. Initiated the Douglas Business Forum, which naturally had a strong focus on tourism. Economic Development initiatives: include the Douglas Entrepreneur Workshop, Business ID Tool, Film Locational Database, Access Douglas Directory, Douglas Card, Bloomfield Track project. Promote and develop climate of investment – ‘Work & invest in Paradise” document – presented at the NQ Economic Summit in November 2015. Improved tourism infrastructure: Daintree Gateway entrance & interpretive signage, new toilets, Daintree Ferry Kuku Yalanji artwork. Planning approvals overall, including a variety of tourism ventures, licenses, support for Sheraton Mirage re-development, Reef Marina, subject to conditions of public access and a place for the commercial fishers.
As the major wealth generator in this region tourism has to be at the forefront of all economic development discussions. TPDD have been punching above their weight for many years now in terms of destination marketing and I would continue to support the organisation within the framework of the Council funding. In my fresh approach to managing the region I will be proposing a much closer working relationship with you to ensure the council stays in touch with your current needs and future requirements. As you know my views are to complement your activities with implementing a plan for destination management through an economic development advisory group. This will support your work and ensure as you generate the visitor through flow, that the area will be maintained at its most pristine to fulfil the visitors experience. The strengths go without saying as the natural wonders we are blessed to have surrounding us and the superb way they are presented to the visitors through the tour operators and attraction venues. The weakness is the lack of a destination management plan to ensure that when visitors arrive, the region is at its most pristine and presents them with everything they would expect from such a 5-star location. I have a strategy to implement with the assistance and support of both your good selves and the economic development advisory board that I propose to recruit. This strategy will support TPDDs efforts and deliver the facilities and services that should be a part of our destination.