Council will build on the progress of major projects including reinvigorating the Port Douglas Waterfront, releasing Stage 2 of the Mossman nursing home site for a retirement village and improving the resilience of our communities to adapt to climate change over the next 12 months.
The 2017/18 Operational Plan details the priority projects for Council over the next 12 months, with an emphasis on building on the success of major community initiatives.
Mayor Julia Leu said this includes the development of a Master Plan for the Port Douglas Waterfront Precinct Strategy and securing the future of the marine industry, submitting the site of Stage 2 of the Mossman nursing home site to the market for sale and development and completing Stages 3 and 4 of a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy for the Douglas Shire.
“Council has made huge inroads in the past three years on major projects including the Port Douglas Waterfront, the Mossman nursing home and preparing for the impacts of climate change on our communities,” Mayor Leu said.
“Our local commercial fishermen now have a permanent home in the marina and Council intends to start civil works on this new precinct in the coming months.
“We’ll also be seeking a suitable developer to build a retirement village on the nursing home site while construction of the long-awaited nursing home continues.
“Council’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy will help determine what challenges our communities face in regards to climate change which is projected to severely impact future generations in the Douglas Shire due to rising sea levels in particular.
“We’ll also be launching new projects that benefit the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Douglas Shire.”
Among these initiatives is the establishment of economic development taskforces as recommended in the Economic Development Strategy to identify priority actions and opportunities, as well as advocating Federal and State Governments for funding to establish a domestic violence refuge in Douglas.
“We’re also looking to install new welcome signage at Port Douglas, Mossman and Daintree Village and improve access to RV parking and black water dump spots to promote the Douglas Shire as an RV-friendly destination,” Mayor Leu said.
“Council is aiming to identify a suitable location to establish a Sister City relationship to further economic development opportunities and has allocated approximately $790,000 to increase funding for Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree and local organisations, businesses and individuals through our grants program.”
Other projects identified in the Operational Plan include establishing a multi-agency taskforce to address abandoned vessels littering Dickson’s Inlet, implementing an illegal camping action plan and illegal dumping strategy and conducting a waste audit.
Mayor Leu said Council will also develop Stage 1 of a Community Open Spaces strategy in 2017/18, develop a recycled water business case and investigate the implementation of smart water meters to help reduce water consumption.
“I’m very excited about the Community Open Spaces strategy which will involve comprehensive community engagement to help Council identify the current and future needs and aspirations of our communities in regards to public spaces and how they can be best utilised,” Mayor Leu said.
“Our waterwise initiatives include the development of a recycled water business case from our wastewater treatment plants so we can move towards improving the quality standard of our treated wastewater for commercial and public spaces use.
“The completion of a water network analysis and implementation of a leak detection program will help to reduce our costs and improve our resilience.”