People's choice not an option

Friday 8 April 2011

People's choice never an option


First it was the need for a lagoon in Port Douglas, now it's the location which is being hotly debated as a recent The Newsport Poll reflects.

The question was simple, 'Should the lagoon be located near St Mary's by the Sea?"

By the end of polling, 89 answered in the negative while 82 said yes despite a large number of reader comments on the article 'St Mary's by the Lagoon' (Thursday 31 March) calling for another location to be chosen.

Council's Douglas Regional Manager, Liz Collyer, is leading a community consultation campaign with its headquarters based in a new shop in the Saltwater building on Macrossan Street.

"Everyone loves it (the shopfront), they think it's a great idea and we're here for three months for the consultation phase and then we'll go into more 'this is what's happening' once it goes through Council," Ms Collyer said. "We're out there with this community engagement."

Ms Collyer said she had met with the Port Douglas Restoration Society, including Virginia Donovan and Judi Piat, owners of St Mary's by the Sea who have expressed their concerned over the proposed location.

"They've been fed some inaccurate information. . .they've been told different things and then all of a sudden they go "what are they doing with our church?"


"It is such an icon of this town, and the wedding business is such a huge part of our economy, 1,000 weddings or so a year is big business to this town," she said.

While much work has been done in creating images of what the lagoon area may look like at the proposed location near St Mary's by the Sea, Ms Collyer said it was the Four Mile Beach option behind the Surf Life Saving Club which was given the nod by voters during the Feasibility Study.

"Whilst that got the most number of votes, and someone can sit in an internet cafe and go to different cafes and vote 100 times . . . but to be the most popular it would've had to have got more than these three (the three lagoon options near Dickson Inlet) totalled together.

"This was always where it was going to be, in this area, because it brings the whole waterfront together," Ms Collyer said.

People can view the plans and concepts and provide feedback by visiting the shop in the Saltwater building in Macrossan Street. and via the Cairns Regional Council website.