Douglas Shire
Economic Development Strategy 2021-2024

This Economic Development Strategy (the Strategy) provides the overarching strategic direction for economic development in the Douglas Shire Council Local Government Area (LGA).

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Douglas Economic Development Strategy

It’s the intention of this Strategy to recognise the contribution of established industries, while building resilience and broadening the economic structure of the Douglas Shire.

Seeking an economy that is thriving, growing and diverse the following three priority areas provide the overarching strategic direction for economic growth in the region:

  1. Tourism – Diversify and expand our tourism offering
  2. Agriculture – Diversify and innovate in agriculture
  3. Population diversification – Targeted growth of the Shire’s population

Underpinning Council’s priority drivers are five interconnected areas of focus, each playing an essential role in establishing a supported and thriving business environment:

  • Provide infrastructure that connects people, enhances livability and supports business
  • Develop a culture of innovation across business and the community
  • Build direct links between our Indigenous community and the economy
  • Ensure environmental and social links to the economy are strengthened and maintained
  • Reduce red tape and improve business support

Read the Strategy

Mayor's Message

“In these uncertain times, we have a strategy that seeks to inspire our region to innovate and become a stronger, broader-based and more resilient economy. Through collaboration, we will transform Douglas Shire’s economy, ensuring regional and economic success.”

MICHAEL KERR, Mayor Douglas Shire Council

Local context & alignment

Supporting Council’s focus on economic development is the Corporate Plan 2019-2024, which is built around five strategic themes that work together to deliver on Council’s Vision Statement:

“A unique, beautiful & sustainable Shire with a connected and inclusive community, thriving economy & deep commitment to protecting the environment for future generations, while honouring our past.”

At the heart of the themes are the three pillars of community, economy, and environment. These three themes are interrelated and cannot be considered in isolation from one another. For example, a strong economy supports a healthy community while an engaged community helps to foster a strong economy. Similarly, our communities are essential in helping to protect our cherished environment, while our beautiful and thriving environment drives economic opportunity and supports healthy communities.

Updating Council’s Economic Development Strategy was also supported by Council’s Annual Operational Plan 2020-2021, which provides the operational focus that will guide the organisation to deliver the Corporate Plan 2019-2024 objectives and work towards realising the shared vision for the Shires future.

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Douglas Shire Economic Snapshot

The economy of the shire depends mainly on tourism, with over 700,000 people visiting the region annually to explore the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef.

Douglas is home to over 12,000 residents, with almost 60% living in the two main population centres of Port Douglas and Mossman. Port Douglas is the tourist gateway to the region, while Mossman is the administrative, health, industrial and agricultural hub.

Other principal urban centres include the beachside communities of Wonga Beach, Newell Beach and Cooya Beach. The remaining residents live in small, decentralised communities scattered along the 100km stretch of coast road; tucked into the rainforest or in small rural townships in the valleys of the Shire’s hinterland.

Get to know our region better by using the demographic data and statistics provided by and made available by Douglas Shire Council and Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC).

Together, these tools form an incredibly powerful suite to help you understand our local government area and make the best business decisions with the latest data and modelling.

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Get in touch

Got a question, comment or just want to get in touch? Contact us using the form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.