Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu has welcomed the State Government’s decision to approve the freehold application of leases at the Port Douglas marina with conditions that seek to preserve access for the community and the commercial fishing industry.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham yesterday announced that applications from The Reef Marina to convert Waterfront land to freehold and extend leases below the High Water Mark would be approved in principle.
The approvals are reliant on The Reef Marina providing evidence that a Development Approval is in place for the development of the application areas as well as written confirmation from Douglas Shire Council that such a development does not diminish the viability of marine-based industrial uses.
The Reef Marina will also be required to provide written advice from Council that formalised public spaces and pedestrian paths and areas are made accessible to the public within the Waterfront areas.
Mayor Leu said the future development of the marina was a welcome boost to the community both socially and economically providing access for the public and the commercial fishing industry is maintained.
“This is a huge opportunity to create a vibrant marina precinct that sets the benchmark in cohesive planning to deliver a spectacular Waterfront development that reflects community expectations and compliments the natural beauty of the location,” Mayor Leu said.
“Council looks forward to working with the developers through this process as this development has the potential to be the envy of marinas around the world.
“The economic benefits of any development on this scale are substantial and long-lasting and ensuring access for the public and the commercial fishing industry to the marina will only enhance its appeal.
The State Government will refund approximately $800,000 to Council once freehold title is issued.
Minister Lynham has also written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk seeking support and confirmation the State Government will honour previous commitments to reinvest proceeds of the freeholding back to Council for investment into the Port Douglas Waterfront Precinct.
“Our local economy has done it tougher than most in recent years for a number of reasons but moving forward on the development of the Waterfront shows real confidence in the region as a great place to visit, live and do business,” Mayor Leu said.
“This is the next step in a long process but it is a milestone decision in the future development of our community and the focus is now to ensure the best outcome for all stakeholders.”