Fu­ture of fish­ing se­cured by coun­cil

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tibballs

PORT Dou­glas will con­tinue to be known as a fish­ing vil­lage fol­low­ing a Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil de­ci­sion to is­sue a per­mit for the Port Dou­glas Com­mer­cial Fish­er­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion to oc­cupy land near The Reef Ma­rina.

The as­so­ci­a­tion will use the land for stor­age re­quired for trawler and fish­ing op­er­a­tions, ameni­ties, park­ing and the out-of-sea­son stor­age of dories for the next three years for a nom­i­nal an­nual fee of $150.

The coun­cil has also re­solved to push through the ap­provals re­quired for the con­struc­tion of a trawler berthing fa­cil­ity and on­shore in­fra­struc­ture by The Reef Ma­rina at its cost.

The coun­cil has agreed to pay for the ac­cess through Lot 96 and any civil works re­quired to bring the por­tion of the lot to ap­pro­pri­ate stan­dards.

Be­fore the three-year term ex­pires the coun­cil will con­sult with the as­so­ci­a­tion to de­ter­mine whether a fur­ther non­com­mer­cial ten­ure pe­riod is re­quired or if a longer lease and change in pur­poses is re­quired to pave the way for a com­mer­cial “fish­er­men’s wharf” on the site.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu said it was a land­mark de­ci­sion and the com­mit­ment of the coun­cil, the as­so­ci­a­tion and The Reef Ma­rina to re­solve a long-run­ning ten­ure is­sue.

She said she was pleased the coun­cil had reached agree­ment with the as­so­ci­a­tion and the ma­rina “to en­sure this his­toric link is re­tained”.

“For as long as any­one can re­mem­ber and decades be­fore tourism ar­rived in the Dou­glas Shire, Port Dou­glas was renowned as a fish­ing vil­lage.

“Port Dou­glas was built on the blood and sweat of com­mer­cial fish­er­men. They have con­trib­uted so much, not just to our lo­cal econ­omy, but our com­mu­nity spirit and I’m ex­tremely proud we’ve been able to fa­cil­i­tate this out­come.”

Ma­rina co-owner An­drew Hooper-Nguyen said the agree­ment was an­other hur­dle cleared for the next stage of the town’s wa­ter­front re­newal project.

“The Reef Ma­rina has been work­ing with the com­mer­cial fish­er­men and the coun­cil for more than two years so we are very pleased to have con­cluded the ne­go­ti­a­tions,” he said.

The coun­cil will en­ter into a deed of agree­ment with the ma­rina to en­able the de­vel­oper to fur­ther progress its $85 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment ap­proved by the coun­cil last month. WORK­PLACE au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing af­ter a man sus­tained se­ri­ous leg in­juries at a con­struc­tion site near Port Dou­glas.

The man, aged in his 40s, is be­lieved to have been mov­ing pool glass pan­els at the Craiglie site about 11.40am on Thurs­day when his leg be­came trapped caus­ing a frac­ture and blood loss.

He was ini­tially taken to Moss­man Hos­pi­tal be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to Cairns Hos­pi­tal.

A WHS spokesman said work had been stopped at the site af­ter the in­ci­dent and it was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIBBALLS

David Neller of Wonga Beach has been se­lected to play in the Penin­sula team at the rugby league 11-12 years age group state cham­pi­onships in June.

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