LNP promise to review shelter

Wednesday 18 January 2012

LNP promise to review shelter

The LNP candidate for Cook has bought into the cyclone shelter debate declaring he'll review the location of the facility should his party be elected in the upcoming State election.

Speaking with The Newsport on Monday, David Kempton said that he had seen the economic benefits the larger Cooktown shelter brought the community, and said the Port Douglas shelter should be designed to do the same.

"I don't know what the community opinion is about this but I've seen the multi-function centre in Cooktown and been to functions in there and it was a huge boost for that town.

"Given the state of the economy in Port Douglas if this money can be utilised to bring an economic benefit as well as a safety benefit then I don't think the opinion of the community can be discounted.

"They (the State Government) say they haven't got enough money but just before Christmas they announced they were spending $4.5 million in Hope Vale (47km north of Cooktown)."


Mr Kepmton promised a review of the shelter project should the LNP win the imminent State election.

"I've spoken to Ros Bates (Shadow Minister for Government Services, Building Industry, and Information and Communication Technology) about this. Our government, when elected, will revisit that site, the whole proposal."

He stipulated that he would not halt or demolish any construction that had already got underway.

"It depends on how far down the track it is, you can't just undo construction. I think now the community is saying we do want another look (and) I think the Government ought to hold back on this."

Mr Kempton said Douglas rate payers are subsidising the construction of the $150 million Cairns Entertainment Precinct, but receives nothing in return from government.

"I was talking to a couple of people today about infrastructure spending and what was the last big government funded project in the Douglas area and no one could think of one. It has been so long.

"For a few extra million here we could have built a state-of-the-art cyclone shelter, but you could also have a facility that would be a theatre, a basketball court, Cooktown runs its annual show in theirs.

"I just seems to me to be a bit short-sighted."

The Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce' Terry Hooper said the Chamber had put a proposition to Minister for Government Services, Building Industry, and Information and Communication Technology, Simon Finn, which requested the State Government work with new Sheraton owner, David Marriner, on a third shelter alternative.


"We put a proposition to him (Mr Finn), that there should be a joint project between the State Government and Marriner to have the cyclone shelter where he (Marriner) is proposing his convention forum (on the current Sunbird Centre site).

"We saw it was sensible for everybody to combine their resources. But that didn't get up mainly because the Government had made their decision and weren't going to change their mind."

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