DOUGLAS Shire Council has capped off the financial year by pumping more than $800,000 into external organisations and delivering 56 capital works projects.
The 2018-19 Annual Report and Financial Statements were tabled at today’s Special Council Meeting, highlighting a year that saw more than $30 million worth of projects completed in the 12-month period.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said it was a remarkable achievement given our testing wet season, extreme weather events and record major flooding of the Daintree River.
“This report demonstrates the enormous success of the new Douglas Council since 2014 and celebrates the culmination of the last 6 years, delivering record capital works and a debt-free status,’ she said.
“Back in 2013, the forces against de-amalgamation said we would go broke, never get any grants and not survive on our own. Well, I am thrilled to say we have proved the naysayers wrong.
“It reflects the resilience of our organisation and its ability to persevere through extreme weather to deliver for the community.”
Some highlights include completion of the 20ML Port Douglas Water Supply Reservoir, a new crocodile themed pump track in Mossman, repairs to the Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail and a record-breaking Port Douglas Carnivale that injected $1.7 million into the region over 10 days.
“Council provided huge support to the community and economy through sponsorship, grants and external funding to the tune of $840,206,” Mayor Leu said.
“We also provided rate rebates totalling $448,631 for pensioners and other eligible concessions.
“Despite the impact of adverse weather events on the operating result, Council remains on track to achieve a budget surplus at the end of this financial year.”
During the 2018-19 financial year, Council approved 73 development applications, with building approvals valued at about $19 million.
“I want to thank and express my sincere appreciation to my fellow Councillors, Chief Executive Officer Mark Stoermer and all staff for their dedication to making the Douglas Shire a greater place to live, work, visit and invest,” Mayor Leu said
“It is a testament to Council staff and the resilient communities we work for that Douglas Shire Council continues to punch well above its weight.”