Shire goes look­ing for sis­ter city

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

THE Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil has em­barked on a jour­ney to find a sis­ter city.

The pro­ject, which is the brain­child of Mayor Ju­lia Leu, will at­tempt to iden­tify a lo­cal­ity from Aus­tralia or around the world that shares the val­ues of the Dou­glas Shire and its peo­ple.

Dou­glas Shire has had sis­ter cities in the past – dur­ing its time as part of the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil.

Ms Leu said the idea to seek a part­ner­ship with a com­mu­nity afar was em­braced by other coun­cil­lors and se­nior man­age­ment at the coun­cil.

Ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree Tara Bennett said she was well on board with the idea.

“I think this is a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive that will strengthen our ties with a key in­bound mar­ket. It would also pro­vide an­other plat­form for us to raise the pro­file of the shire,” said Ms Bennett.

“Any re­gion that rep­re­sents sim­i­lar val­ues to Dou­glas with a fo­cus on na­ture based tourism would be a great match.”

On the ac­tual lo­ca­tion of a sis­ter city for Dou­glas Shire., Ms Leu de­clined to share any ideas that had been kicked around al­ready.

“Coun­cil has an open mind on the lo­ca­tion – our pri­or­ity is to first iden­tify and fi­nalise the ob­jec­tives of the pro­ject and then see what lo­ca­tions may fit.”

There’s a world of op­tions out there though, and Ms Leu said the com­mu­nity would be wel­come to sub­mit ideas.

When asked for her ideas, Ms Bennett shared some of her wish­list. “For me some­where like Carmel-By-The-Sea in Cal­i­for­nia would be a great fit. Carmel was a source of in­spi­ra­tion for the Dou­glas Shire Tourism Strat­egy in 1998 due to its bal­anced devel­op­ment and long term plan­ning for sus­tain­able growth.

“I also have a love of Zer­matt in Switzer­land and there are par­al­lels be­tween the two, with Zer­matt at­tract­ing jet­set­ters seek­ing a laid back na­ture based ex­pe­ri­ence, where celebri­ties can travel un­der the radar. The re­gion is renowned for it’s nat­u­ral beauty in­clud­ing the fa­mous Mat­ter­horn.”

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Laid back na­ture: Kite surf­ing in Port Dou­glas

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