Infrastructure concerns grow

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Infrastructure concerns grow

Calls from the public are growing louder for infrastructure improvements in and around Port Douglas.

A lack of street lighting and faulty lights are causing safety concerns with residents and tourists forced to walk on busy roads including Port Douglas Road, while streets such as Warner Street (where people have no option but to walk on the road) and Mowbray Street have security concerns for lone walkers, particularly women, late at night.

Two-way traffic on The Esplanade must negotiate a flow of pedestrians who choose not to walk on the grass/winding footpath combination on the beach side of the road causing a potentially dangerous situation.

However Cairns Regional Council have defended the design of the newly upgraded esplanade saying community consultation shaped the area.

"With reference to The Esplanade footpath, it was determined during the consultation and design processes that the area needed to remain as natural and relaxed as possible, with minimal use of cement and 'hard edges,'" a Cairns Regional Council spokesperson said.

"Footpaths have been installed to allow disabled access to the beach, with safe walking areas provided along the entire length. There is no need for people to walk on the road."

But it's another maintenance issue that is concerning Warner Street's Parrotfish Lodge manager, Mick White.

"I'll be honest, my first and main concern is the mosquito infestation because of the state of the storm water," he said.

Mr White expressed concerns that the mosquitos may be a health hazard, and said the state of street lends itself to pooling of water where mosquitos can breed.

The Council spokesperson said that aside from routine inspection and maintenance of infrastructure, the 10 year Capital Works Program covers major renewal projects for kerb and channels, bridges, drainage and road upgrades.

"The 10 year Capital Works Program is a constantly evolving planning mechanism, based on priority and budget availability. It helps Council to plan ahead for major renewal projects by ensuring forward modelling allows for the required expenditure."
She added that improved lighting is a component of the Port Douglas Waterfront Master Plan.

Residents are encouraged to contact Council with any concerns they may have regarding infrastructure.

Is the infrastructure in Port Douglas fine? What is it you would like to see? 

Reporter's comment: It seems there is such a big focus (understandably) on providing tourists with a great experience while they're here - culminating in the lagoon push which aims to attract more visitors over the summer months - that the residents' experience sometimes takes a back seat.

Even the little things like exercise stations (of which we'll be reporting more on shortly) will add up to make Port a more livable town, and attract new residents to the area which could flow on to attracting new industries. Do you agree?