Is it time for a swimming lagoon in Port Douglas?


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Should Port Douglas have a swimming lagoon like this one in Airlie Beach? IMAGE: Visit Whitsundays.

SHOULD a public swimming lagoon for Port Douglas be revisited?

In light of ongoing concerns about crocodile numbers and the length of the stinger season in Far North Queensland, Newsport has been inundated with commentary and questions from readers about a viable swimming alternative for the town.

The Douglas Shire Council held a public forum on crocodiles in Port Douglas in November, where officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) told the community the only way to safeguard against potential attacks was to stay out of the water. The possibility of a swimming lagoon has been a hot topic ever since.

“It’s time we again start looking at the lagoon vision in Port Douglas,” said local resident Andrew Petrack.

“The oceans are warm here in the summer months and a lagoon type pool will certainly attract tourists to it and reduce the risk.”

A swimming lagoon looked all but certain back in 2010 as part of the Port Douglas Waterfront Master Plan adopted by the Cairns Regional Council. However, it’s believed differences over cost, its location - slated to be near the St Mary’s church - and the de amalgamation from Cairns council largely contributed to the concept being quashed.

“I was an opponent of the swimming proposal in the St Mary's church vicinity, and still am, but maybe it’s time to put a pool elsewhere,” said Lee Walters from Port Douglas.

?Local tour operator Kate Agrums, from Lady Douglas River Cruises, agreed.?

“If the lagoon is not to go ahead, then we need a good alternative,” she wrote following the public forum on crocodiles.??

“A nice, big, shady public pool with gardens, picnic tables, BBQ areas, public benches and a smaller sandy beach pool for kids to play in.”

?Larger Far North Queensland municipalities Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach and Mackay all operate public swimming lagoons with great success. While many factors are yet to be discussed, whether Port Douglas should join this list will continue to generate plenty of discussion.?

Tell us what you think! Is it time to investigate a swimming lagoon for Port Douglas?