Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu has outlined the consultation process Council is implementing following the “in-principle” approval for the Port Douglas Outriggers Club to relocate from its current site.
Council issued Port Douglas Outriggers Club “in-principle” approval for a proposed trustee lease on part of Lot 110 Solander Boulevard, Port Douglas, adjacent to the Sailing Club, at its Ordinary Meeting on March 11.
The application was considered urgent due to the potential for serious injury or loss of life due to the prevalence of large crocodiles at the club’s present launching site near the Port Douglas Yacht Club.
Mayor Leu said as a condition of Council’s “in-principle” approval, Council was now conducting community consultation before deciding on whether to proceed with a Land Management Plan over the Solander Boulevard site.
“At the Ordinary Meeting on March 11, Council granted the Outriggers Club ‘in-principle’ approval to allow Council to progress to the next stage, which is community consultation,” Mayor Leu said.
“I appreciate that nearby residents have some concerns, particularly in relation to traffic and noise impacts. However, I want to stress that it is Council’s immediate intention to consult the community, in particular neighbouring property owners and occupiers.
“The intention is to identify all concerns of nearby local residents and property owners.
“Once the community’s concerns and opinions have been identified the Outrigger Club will be invited to respond with suggestions as to how its operations can be accommodated at the site without impacting negatively on the amenity of nearby residents. Potential traffic and noise impacts will also be thoroughly assessed.
“Once this consultation has occurred, Council will revisit its ‘in-principle’ decision and either ratify it, with or without further conditions, and progress to the preparation of a Land Management Plan, or revoke it.
“At the same time, there will be further analysis of other potential sites.”
Council conducted an initial assessment of potential sites in Port Douglas and determined the site in Solander Boulevard adjacent to the Sailing Club as the most suitable for a number of reasons.
The “in-principle” decision was supported by the fact the Sailing Club has operated a similar type of recreational activity successfully for many years, with very few issues raised by members of the public.
The site also has good public beach access next door and is reserved for recreational purposes.
Sites at the northern end of Four Mile Beach are subject to tidal inundation and there are drainage issues which would impact on the storage of equipment.
Access to the beach at this site is also quite restricted and the larger waves make it more dangerous to load the canoes onto dollies.
Four Mile Park was not initially considered appropriate as the park accommodates a children’s playground and the confined space available to store and launch the outrigger canoes would have created safety concerns, given the high volume of playground and beach users.
The Four Mile Park site is also subject to tidal inundation and drainage issues.
Council is this week writing to property owners calling for written submissions about the “in-principle” decision.
Submissions will be accepted by mail, addressed to the CEO Unit, Douglas Shire Council, PO Box 723, Mossman 4873 or can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The original Council report on the issue and the conditions of the “in-principle” approval are available by clicking https://douglas.qld.gov.au/download/council_meetings/meeting_agendas/Part%201%20-%20Ordinary%20Meeting%20Agenda%20-%2011%20March%202014.pdf