DOUGLAS Shire Council has backed calls for a ‘Green Army’ to beautify the region and earmarked a list of shovel-ready projects to deliver under the Local Government Association of Queensland’s job-creating $608 million Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities.
Councils across Queensland have been compiling their local battleplans in a bid to secure critical economic stimulus from the State Government to help their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the Council had multiple shovel-ready projects, such as a $2.5 million off-road cycle network connecting Mossman and Cooya Beach.
“The 4.7km network would provide a safe cycling route for school children and recreational riders,” he said.
“We would expect this type of project to provide an instant cash flow and keep jobs in Douglas.
“It would also connect the two suburbs and provide more opportunity for the community to get out and be active.”
Starting at the turnoff to Junction Road, the cycle route travels down Bonnie Doon Road (across Junction Bridge), before looping back to the Captain Cook Highway, south of Mossman, via Cooya Beach.
In Cooya Beach, there is an additional off-shoot down Melaleuca Drive to Bougainvillea Street.
More information about the proposed Principle Cycle Network is available here.
Mayor Kerr also threw his support behind the LGAQ’s call for a green army to beautify the region.
“This will not only give our local tradies immediate relief, it improve our tourism appeal and instil community pride into our region,” he said.
“We can be doing this work now and setting ourselves up for a better future.”
Other battleplan ready highlights for Douglas Shire include:
- Off road principal cycle network between Mossman and Cooya Beach.
- Pedestrian bridge across Marrs Creek to increase amenity and safety for cyclists.
- Recycled water network and infrastructure to enable watering of Port Douglas areas – Rex Smeal Park and Cricket Oval.
- Beautification works in Port Douglas and Mossman.
- Concrete footpath connecting Johnstone Road to the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre and Aboriginal Community.
Local Government Association of Queensland President Mayor Mark Jamieson said councils stood at the ready to help Queensland meet the challenges of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 with the LGAQ’s battleplan to create more than 14,000 jobs.
Key initiatives to be funded under the battleplan include:
- Jobs Recovery Package: A $200 million statewide job creation program modelled on the successful Works for Queensland initiative to support more than 8,000 jobs, with $100 million earmarked for the state’s southeast.
- Green Army: A 3,000-strong workforce focused on protecting and improving the environment across the state for the benefit of critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism.
- Local Government Apprenticeship and Traineeship Guarantee: Providing 800 new or displaced workers with a guaranteed pathway to gain critical experience and skills.
“The battleplan’s programs will provide a critical boost to the construction, tourism, small business and agricultural sectors,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“They will provide apprenticeships and traineeships for those looking to enter the workforce for the first time or to retrain. They will create work for local businesses, contractors and labourers.
“They will ensure Queensland communities not only weather the COVID-19 storm but emerge from it stronger than before.”
Mayor Jamieson welcomed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s public commitment to working with the Association and its member councils to identify shovel-ready projects across the state to aid the economic recovery.
He also reiterated his thanks to Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington for her support for the LGAQ’s $608 million Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities.