Council has approved the most significant development in the Douglas Shire in a generation with approval granted to The Reef Marina to move forward with a proposed $85 million transformation of the Port Douglas Waterfront.
The Reef Marina proposal includes a rainforest walk connecting Macrossan Street to the Marina, waterfront residences including 80 new apartments and townhouses; new restaurants and bars and a live entertainment venue.
Mayor Julia Leu said that while Council’s approval is subject to a number of conditions including deeds of agreement for TRM to continue to operate the slipway and provide new berthing facilities for commercial fishermen, the decision represents an historic moment for Port Douglas.
“The Port Douglas marina has been the focus of significant developer interest over a number of years but for various reasons the projects have never got off the ground,” Mayor Leu said.
“I would like to thank The Reef Marina team for their efforts in bringing this significant development to fruition and Council looks forward to continue working with TRM to get the project underway.
“I’m also very proud that our Council, and in particular the Council staff who have worked so tirelessly and diligently behind the scenes on this project over several years, have been able to come up with solutions to a number of very complex land tenure and engineering problems.
“This will be the most significant investment in the Douglas Shire since the Sheraton Mirage was first built and transformed the Far North Queensland tourism industry in the mid-1980s.
“The redevelopment of The Reef Marina will not only revitalise the Port Douglas Waterfront, but provide significant opportunities for local tradesmen and businesses to become involved in the redevelopment which will transform our marina into a world-class facility deserving of its magnificent location.
“Council’s development approval not only ensures public access to our Waterfront is maintained and enhanced, but also gives confidence to other local businesses that they can invest in the Douglas Shire and work with Council to achieve a positive outcome that benefits investors and our communities.
“I’m also very grateful for the considerable amount of work that has been done on the Port Douglas Waterfront by Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham and his Department.
“Of particular significance is a covenant included by the Department in its agreement with TRM and Council to convert the site to freehold that ensures all of proposed lots on the site are tied together so they can’t be on-sold separately, which could have resulted in a fragmented development if it wasn’t enshrined into the agreement.”
The decision paves the way for The Reef Marina to move forward with the first stage of the redevelopment.
The full Council report is available on Council’s website by clicking HERE.