Council Contracts, Road Closures, Funding and a Ferry Tender Audit

douglas shire council meeting

RADF 2020-21 Grant Funding Recommendations

Council ratified the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) Committee funding recommendations totalling $49,227.00 for 12 out of 15 RADF projects for 2020–2021.

Contract for Zig Zag Road & Cape Tribulation Bloomfield Road Pavement and Culvert Upgrade

Council awarded the contract for the Zig Zag Road and Cape Tribulation Bloomfield Road Pavement and Culvert upgrade to Geo Construct Pty Ltd for $6,188,299.55.
Council has received funding to the value of $6,452,101 as part of Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. The project budget is $6,791,686.

Reconfiguration of a Lot (One into two residential lots) at 349 Mowbray River Road, Mowbray

Mayor Kerr asked Councillors to defer the development application over land described as Lot 23 on SP227933, to be reconfigured one lot into two lots. He asked for a Councillor workshop to explore the motion further.

Material change of use for a Limited Function facility at 5146 Captain Cook Highway

Council approved the development application for material change of use for a function facility, in addition to the continuing use of a dwelling house over land described as Lot 1 on RP742791. That is 5146 Captain Cook Highway Oak Beach. Approval of the DA is subject to extensive conditions.
Events will be limited to twelve in a calendar year and will include weddings. The approval is limited to the land, and not the adjacent foreshore of Pebbly Beach.The conditions of the approval address amenity concerns and specifically require a suitable Event Management Plan.

Application for permanent road closure in strata over part of Stewart Street Daintree adjoining the “Big Barra”

Council carried the motion to allow lodgement with the Department of Resources with respect to permanently closing the road (in strata) over part of Stewart Street Daintree adjoining Lot 1 on RP708742.

This encompasses the existing verandah for the Big Barra adjoining Stewart Street in Daintree village. Council also agreed to advise the Department of Resources that it has no objection to the proposed application.

Application for Permanent Road Closure Over Esplanade Adjacent to proposed Gurner ™ development

Council agreed to advise the Department of Resources of its objection to the application for permanent road closure over road reserve adjoining Lot 2 on RP724386, Esplanade Port Douglas, the site of the propsed Gurner™ development on Flagstaff Hill.

The reasons for this objection are as follows:

  • Current water infrastructure is unlikely to be able to service the requirements of the proposed development and future demand will require water main upgrades and an interconnection between Murphy Street and Macrossan Street to meet the requirements of Council’s drinking water quality management plan. This interconnection will occur via the road reserve, which is associated with the road closure application. If the road is closed it could jeopardise the supply of portable water in this area; and
  • Due to significant stormwater and drainage issues in the area, there will be a future requirement for major stormwater services to be laid within the subject road closure area. There would be significant costs in establishing this new infrastructure, the extent of which will be unknown until a needs and solutions analysis is commissioned in a future Council budget

Background /

Council received an application from a consultant representing the landowner of Lot 2 on RP724386, regarding a proposal to permanently close part of the Esplanade road reserve, which adjoins this land parcel.

The proposed area of permanent road closure is situated at the northern end of the Esplanade at Port Douglas and consists of an area of approximately 915m2.

If the permanent road closure is approved, the applicant intends to amalgamate the subject area of road reserve into the adjoining freehold property and then use the additional land for driveway purposes to service a proposed development upon the amalgamated land.

Internal consultation at Council was undertaken and it was determined that officers did not support the proposed permanent road closure.

The Department of Resources has requested Council to provide its views and/or requirements with respect to the proposed permanent road closure by 31 May 2021.

DOR has also indicated that if Council were to object to the application, a full explanation stating the reason for the objection must be provided.

Of the reasons provided, the road closure is not supported on the basis that the development, as proposed, represents significant non-compliance with the Planning Scheme.

As the proposed road closure has been made to facilitate the development of the land as proposed, the road closure application is not supported.

Douglas Shire Economic Development Strategy 2021-2024

This Economic Development Strategy provides the overarching strategic direction for economic development in the Douglas Shire

The Strategy is available for review here.

Of note, as expressed by Crs Noli and Zammataro is targeted growth of the Shire population, measures to attract high digital demand events, and priority for basic infrastructure.

Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival – Resource and Performance Agreement

Council voted to enter into a three-year resource and performance agreement with event organisers for the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival with $50,000 in years One, Two and Three.

Connect Sport Australia are proposing a landmark event for the Douglas Shire, the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival.
Following Council Resolution on 23 February 2021, Council provided a letter of support to Connect Sport Australia to accompany their funding application to regional and state tourism bodies for the inaugural Festival.
Council subsequently received a letter from Connect Sport Australia advising that the funding application to Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) had been declined, due in part to a lack of financial commitment from local government.
They request a three-year Resource and Performance Agreement to assist in delivery and promotion as well as providing some certainty for future planning. Establishing an agreement with Connect Sport Australia will demonstrate to TEQ that Council supports this event and are willing to financially invest in bringing it to the Shire.

Cr Scomazzon expressed her preference to have been able to workshop the proposal particularly because of the scale of the investment.

Notices of Motion /

Cr Scomazzon moved a motion that Council request the CEO to engage a probity auditor to investigate the contract process for the Daintree ferry contracts.

The audit would consider the initial consultation and tender process, interim tender and attempts to extend, process by which Council procured the ferry.

Two final reports, one suitable for public, and one internal-which protects commercial-in-confidence information.

Cr Noli suggested amending the motion; that the probity auditor be engaged through the Audit Committee Chair, and secondly, that the two requested reports be built into the motion, rather than as background.

The first suggestion passed as the amended motion.

Given the expected cost of the Audit, the CEO expects further Council motions regarding the detailed execution of the Audit, where Cr Noli’s second concern, amongst others, could be incorporated.


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