Port Douglas's future in government's hands

Story courtesy of newsport.com.au

by Mat Churchill

On Monday, the Newsport reported that Queensland is seeing the fastest rate of population growth in Australia, and Cairns seems to be the place of choice with a growth rate of 3.8 per cent a year, more than twice the national growth rate.

So what does this mean for the Port Douglas hinterland?

Reassuringly, Cr Julia Leu says that this growth rate will not be seen here. "Most of the growth will be seen just south of Cairns at places like Mt Peter and Edmonton where plans to accommodate 50,000 more people are in place." 


These plans include roads, schools, and other infrastructure which will need to be built to sustain a large population influx.

In explaining the town plan for Port Douglas, Julia said "We are working from the Douglas Shire town plan that maintains the character of the area. We saw large growth in the 80's, but our town plan was adhered to and restricted developers in areas such as height of buildings."

"Over the years certain areas could be developed, such as we see now with Cooya Beach,, but these developments are planned well in advance."

Coming from Victoria as many of our readers do, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying we do not want to see the Port Douglas hinterland developed in the same way as Victoria's famous surf coast.


Now devoid of the old surf town character, places like Torquay and others that stretch along the coastline from Queenscliff to Jan Juc now resemble a city suburb.

There appears to be no concern for the obvious environmental degradation of the area either with sand dunes and wetlands already at risk due to the fast spreading urban sprawl.

The Cairns Regional Council need to heed the lessons and failures of these areas where the developer's dollar rules, and the lure of untapped millions in additional rates seems too good to refuse.