Douglas Shire Council has granted in-principle approval for the issue of a trustee lease to the Port Douglas Outrigger Canoe Club to relocate to Four Mile Park due to safety concerns.
The Outrigger Club approached Council earlier this year seeking assistance to relocate to a new site because of concerns about the presence of crocodiles at its existing launch ramp on Dickson’s Inlet.
Mayor Julia Leu said Council had conducted an exhaustive assessment involving extensive community consultation of two potential sites, Four Mile Park and land zoned for recreational use in Solander Boulevard.
“I’m glad we have been able to resolve this issue which will provide much safer access for the Outriggers and provide the club with the security it needs to be able to grow membership,” Mayor Leu said.
Council has issued the Outriggers Club a Trustee Permit while permission is sought for a permanent lease from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, which will require a detailed Land Management Plan.
To further strengthen the management of crocodiles in the Douglas Shire, Council will also seek to engage the assistance of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to launch a community education program about being “Croc Wise” in Douglas.
As part of this community education program, Council will seek a public viewpoint on the long-term management of crocodiles in the Douglas Shire before requesting a meeting with Minister for the Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell to discuss how to achieve the desired outcomes of the consultation for crocodile management issues in the Douglas Shire.
Mayor Leu said while public safety was paramount, crocodiles also played an important role in the local environment as well as the tourism industry.
“The current crocodile management process where crocodiles which pose a threat to people are removed appears to be working, but we’re keen to hear the community’s thoughts on what sort of process they think is appropriate,” Mayor Leu said.
“It is essential we are never complacent about crocodiles in the Douglas Shire, regardless of what management process is in place they will always be there and that’s why it is vital we do all we can to educate our residents and particularly tourists about being ‘Croc Wise’ in the Douglas Shire.”