The out­look is strong for the new year

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

HAV­ING said good­bye to the old year it’s nev­er­the­less time to re­flect on what sort of year it was.

For Dou­glas Shire I think it was very clearly a good one.

Tourism op­er­a­tors en­joyed a very strong year, one of the best, if not the very best, ever. A com­bi­na­tion of a lower Aus­tralian dol­lar and per­haps se­cu­rity fears about trav­el­ling abroad meant do­mes­tic tourism boomed as well as the in­flux of overseas vis­i­tors get­ting bet­ter value for their money.

All around us were the signs of ris­ing con­fi­dence, and most im­por­tantly, the big play­ers putting money into tourism as­sets. The Sher­a­ton Mi­rage and the Coun­try Club com­pleted the ini­tial stages of their re­fur­bish­ments. Hem­ing­way’s Brew­ery opened at the Reef Ma­rina. And the ma­rina man­age­ment it­self fi­nally lodged the devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for an $80 mil­lion spend on a re­de­vel­op­ment of the water­front site.

It’s been solid good news on the eco­nomic front for a long time.

On top of that, the sugar price hit new records and the Moss­man Mill per­formed very cred­itably, pro­cess­ing around 900,000 tonnes so ef­fi­ciently it was the first ma­jor mill to fin­ish the crush in this re­gion.

As we see in our story to­day with TPDD ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tara Bennett, the out­look re­mains strong for 2017.

One thing that would com­plete this happy pic­ture, though, would be more con­struc­tion work for lo­cal tradies. We can look to the Ma­rina to help with that. Let’s hope a start is not too far away. Con­struc­tion will also start on the Moss­man aged care fa­cil­ity very soon.

Po­lit­i­cal help may im­prove too, now that the pol­lies are run­ning scared over a grass roots re­volt in the re­gions when it comes to vot­ing time.

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