The outlook is strong for the new year
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.