Port Douglas Lagoon Pool

Monday 27 June 2011

Councillors throw support behind Hunt

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Division 5 and Division 10 councillors, Alan Blake and Julia Leu support the alternative design being showcased to the public in much the same way as Council's recommended proposal.

By Kerry Larsen and Mat Churchill

Community interest and support for the proposed Port Douglas lagoon project has hit a high following Port Douglas architect Gary Hunt’s address on the preferred site and size of the lagoon to Cairns Regional Council this week.

More than 200 people watched The Newsport’s video link in the first 24 hours since Mr Hunt’s allocated 15-minute presentation to Council went live on the website, with comments from around the region echoing the concerns of the community.

At the close of Mr Hunt’s presentation Division 5 Councillor, Alan Blake, called for visuals of the latest design – which Mr Hunt calls a representation of the community’s wishes – to be displayed in Port Douglas for public comment. The plans have been accessible on The Newsport since June 1.

It is expected a motion will be put to Council’s next Planning and Environment Committee meeting in Cairns on Wednesday, July 6, to have the plans officially made available for public viewing. The location is likely to be in the Macrossan Street shopfront which currently displays Council's recommended location near St Mary's By The Sea.

Cr Blake said there had been individual discussion between councillors following the presentation, with the Division 5 councillor supporting Mr Hunt’s recommendations and viewpoint.

“We need to be serving the people properly, giving them a chance to have their say. It’s very important they do.

“It’s about having the will and the determination to get the job done and having the passion to get the desired result for the community. And Gary has that passion. He has the best experience in Queensland coastal management.

“One thing we lack in our region is that we don’t have many people with strong opinions voicing strong concerns. I think he is on the right track.

"We are very community-minded as a group of councillors, and we want to hear the community’s views,” Cr Blake said.

Division 10 Councillor Julia Leu said she also showed support for the latest lagoon design to be made public. And with many residents concerned that the findings of the last community consultation period were not taken seriously by Council, Cr Leu says the latest opportunity will be a valuable insight.

“The focus so far has been on site one, so the newest information has to be put to the public and then all the costs need to be considered,” she said.

“I have been given a commitment from the CEO (Lyn Russell) that there will be a very comprehensive report on the Port Douglas lagoon project.

“I want to make sure that every aspect is covered with all the suggestions and concerns from Gary on the lagoon, as well as the proposed maritime precinct for the Sugar Wharf area.”

The Newsport was unable to contact Council CEO Lyn Russell, however a spokesperson from her office said "...the results of the public consultation are currently being collated and all feedback received during that consultation period will be considered by Council." For the full story supplied by Newsport click here.