Mayor Julia Leu keen to build on economic growth


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu speaking at the business forum in Port Douglas on Tuesday. IMAGE: Howard Salkow - Newsport.

DOUGLAS Shire Mayor Julia Leu used yesterday’s Douglas Business Forum at QT Resort to introduce the Economic Development Strategy for 2017-2021 saying now is the time to identify opportunities that can be realised to increase the resilience, prosperity and sustainability of the shire.

“There is no better time to make this happen. There have been a number of key successes and we need to build and capitalise on them.

“We have welcomed a few new businesses over the past 18 months; our event calendar continues to grow; we recently granted conditional approval of the $85 million Reef Marina waterfront transformation; we’ve just received a $2 million capital works cash injection to fund 12 projects and the Flagstaff Walking Trail is moving ahead,” she said.

Leu said the Economic Development Strategy will address the changing landscape affecting tourism and sugar production and processing industries.

“Our strategy identified the key challenges impacting the Shire along with the major priority areas,” she said.

The key challenges are:

  • Sustainable development of existing industries and increased diversification, while regenerating the natural, cultural and premium brand assets of the Shire;

  • Reducing high youth and Indigenous unemployment while maintaining a balanced workforce and sustainable population;

  • Encouraging leadership that breaks down silos to increase collaboration, innovation and develop new businesses and industries; and 

  • Provide quality, appropriate, affordable and reliable essential services.

The five key priority focus areas are:

  • Creating a Study, Training and Entrepreneur Incubator Centre;

  • Further developing an Allied Health Hub and Health Tourism;

  • Increasing the resilience of the sugar industry;

  • Developing Douglas Shire as Australia’s leader in sustainable development; and 

  • Attracting and facilitating investment.

“But to meet these achievements, we cannot do it alone. We require the willingness, co-operation, and leadership of the business community, industry, TAFE, universities, state and federal government departments to ensure the future of the Douglas Shire,” said Mayor Leu.

Leu said although we live in one of the most spectacular parts of the world which provides many economic and lifestyle benefits, we need to protect and look after this legacy for current and future generations.

Learn more about the economic development strategy

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