DOUGLAS Shire Council has budgeted for its largest ever capital works program with a focus on renewing and upgrading critical infrastructure to help build the region out of COVID-19.

The $21.17 million investment will see $12.5m spent on civil works projects such as roads, bridges and drains, with a further $5m pumped into improving the Shire’s water and wastewater infrastructure.

Douglas Shire Council endorsed the program, which also features additional investment in sporting facilities and public spaces, during the adoption of the 2020/21 Annual Budget in Mossman today.

Mayor Michael Kerr said the investment would create plenty of opportunity for local contractors.

“Now, more than ever, our community needs Council to invest in local businesses, materials and services where possible,” he said.

“It is clear Council has an important role to play in keeping our local economy moving and this program lets us focus on providing essential services to our community.”

About $10.5 million of the program is funded through State and Federal Government grants obtained by Council.

Local business are encouraged to register at Vendor Panel to get notifications of council quotes and tenders.

At a glance

Total capital works program: $21.17 million

  • $12.5m on roads, bridges, drainage, kerb and channel, footpaths and streetscapes
  • $3.34m on water quality and reticulation
  • $1.76m on improving wastewater network
  • $1.39m on public spaces and sporting infrastructure

Mayor Kerr said particular projects, such as plans to progress the Great Barrier Reef Legacy’s Living Coral Biobank project, would build economic and community value in Douglas Shire.

“While we have prioritized investment in essential infrastructure, we have made sure there is a collection of projects that our community be proud of,” he said.

“Council will purchase road reserve to help accommodate the exciting Living Coral Biobank project, which will see a state-of-the-art facility to house coral from across the world, right here in Port Douglas.

“We will also continue to upgrade the Mossman Pool and Caravan Park, refresh the gardens in Macrossan Street and finish vital upgrades at the Sugar Wharf to ensure the venue is ready for a bumper 2021 wedding season.”