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Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

On The Agenda at Today’s Douglas Shire Council Meeting

An Ordinary Meeting of the Douglas Shire Council will be held today Tuesday, 29 June 2021 at 10:00a.m. at the Council Chambers, 64-66 Front Street, Mossman.

AN Ordinary Council meeting will be held today, Tuesday 29 June 2021, at 10am.

Council Meetings are currently open to the public.  There will be a maximum of 10 people allowed (due to size of the room and to allow for social distancing) and will not need to pre-register.

The meeting will be live-streamed online and can be access by clicking here.


Particularly noteworthy today is the notice of motion submitted by Councillor Roy Zammataro concerning all meetings, including Councillor workshops be open to the public.

Councillor Zammataro gave notice of his intention to move the following motion today:

That Council, in the interest of transparency, pass a resolution that all meetings, including workshops, be open to the public unless closed for one of the reasons specified in the Local Government Regulations 254J
Closed meetings.



Reconfiguration of a Lot (1 into 2 Residential Lots) at 349 Mowbray River Road, Mowbray

The recommendation is that that Council refuse the development application for over land described as Lot 23 on
SP227933, to be reconfigured one lot into two lots.

The application is non-compliant with a number of assessment benchmarks including:

i. The development creates lots creating lots which are not of an appropriate size and configuration to retain and sustain the utility and productive capacity of the land for rural purposes. The proposed development will fragment rural land, in particular good quality agricultural land that is identified as Class A Agricultural Land Classification. The development is incapable of being conditioned to achieve compliance with the required codes;
ii. The development is inconsistent with the 2018 Douglas Shire Planning Scheme in regard to: the Rural Zone Code and the Reconfiguring A Lot Code. The development is incapable of being
conditioned to achieve compliance with the required codes;
iii. The fragmentation of agricultural land and the size and configuration of the proposed lots is development that is inconsistent with the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031, the State Planning Policy 2017 and the Planning Scheme. There is no identified need for the smaller lots in the rural area in order to achieve the outcomes of: the State Planning Policy 2017, the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031 and the Planning Scheme;
iv. There are insufficient grounds to justify approval despite the conflicts with the State Planning Policy 2017, the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031 and the Planning Scheme.


Application for permanent road closure over part of unnamed road reserve off Rasmussen Road Cassowary adjoining Lots 42, 43 and 45 on SP155094


Registration Of Standard Terms For Trustee Leases


Revoke Busking General Policy


Busking is a Prescribed Activity under Local Law No. 1 (Administration) 2020. As the activity is regulated by the local law, a policy is not required. Furthermore, most local buskers use high foot traffic areas that do not require them to have a Council approval, such as the Port Village Shopping Centre, Port Douglas Markets and the front of Woolworths in Mossman.

Prior to the 2008 amalgamation with Cairns City Council (“Cairns”), Douglas Shire did not support busking activities within its CBD areas. Cairns permits buskers in the city centre, particularly in the mall areas. Suitable areas were designated in Cairns to minimise disruption to retailers and add vibrancy to the area. Upon amalgamation, it was expected that areas in the Douglas Shire would be subject to the same policies and, as such, busking was permitted in Port Douglas and Mossman, despite no areas being identified as suitable.
Since then, busking has been permitted with mixed results. Council has received numerous complaints and Port Douglas Police have regularly had to shut down or move on performers who are causing a nuisance to accommodation houses and retailers. The activity is a favourite for backpackers who visit the area, usually during the high season, and seek to fund or extend their stay.

A soft review of the local laws will be undertaken in during the 2021/22 year. This will include making minor amendments and, after consulting Port Douglas Police and the Douglas Chamber of Commerce, it is proposed that busking be limited to the Port Douglas Markets and special events such as Carnivale. This will not affect buskers who currently utilise areas on private property, such as Port Village or Mossman Woolworths. Entertainment, exercise and similar activities in Council’s Parks and Reserves can be managed through Council’s Local Laws and Prescribed Activity approvals where appropriate.


The proposal is that Council revoke the Busking General Policy.


Small Business Friendly Councils Charter


It is recommended that Council agrees to join the Queensland Government’s Small Business Friendly Councils initiative and signs the Small Business Friendly Councils Charter.


Council has been approached by the Queensland Small Business Commissioner (QSBC) to join the Small Business Friendly Councils (SBFC) initiative.The QSBC is requesting Councils demonstrate their commitment to being mindful of small businesses, their issues and priorities when making decisions for the local community by signing up to a Charter as a “Small Business Friendly Council”.
The Charter is a non-legally binding set of commitments which Councils can agree to in support of a prosperous small business sector within their community.
Small businesses are at the heart of the Douglas economy and Council’s support for the sector is recognised in Douglas Shire Council’s Economic Development Strategy 2021-2024.
Council Officers have reviewed the Charter and assessed the benefits and implications of being involved.

The SBFC initiative recognises local Councils that are actively supporting small businesses in their region and helping small businesses recover and build resilience following disasters and economic challenges.
Small businesses are at the heart of the Queensland economy and regional communities.
They create local jobs, grow the local economy, and provide essential goods and services but just as importantly, small businesses help create attractive, liveable communities. They foster civic pride and help attract people and investment into the area. In the face of unprecedented natural disasters and the economic effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is vital that local Councils support their small businesses to survive and thrive.


Douglas Shire’s Economic Profile (.id 2020), shows that the Douglas Shire has 1377 locally owned businesses, over which 97% are small businesses.

The Douglas Shire Council’s Economic Development Strategy 2021-2024 and core remit of several Council departments largely covers off on the services/functions outlined in the new Queensland Government initiative, however by signing up to the new program Council agrees to:

  • Communicate and engage with small business;
  • Raise the profile and capability of small businesses;
  • Support small business resilience and recovery;
  • Simplify administration and regulation for small business (red tape reduction);
  • Ensure fair procurement and prompt payment terms for small businesses;
  • Develop and promote place-based programs for small businesses;
  • Promote and showcase small businesses; and
  • Measure and report on our performance.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree KPI strategies 2020/2021

That Council receives and notes three reports delivered by TPDD completing their required KPI’s under
the Resource and Performance agreement dated 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 between TPDD and Douglas Shire Council:

  1. Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Destination Tourism Plan 2025 Draft
  2. Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Event Strategy 2025
  3. Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Brand Review 2021

    The Council has formally received reports as part of the existing Resource and Performance Agreement with Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) for the purpose of developing the regional economy through the marketing of the Douglas Shire as a destination to the local, international and domestic markets.
    TPDD under the performance agreement had five (5) of KPI’s to deliver for the year 2020/2021.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Resource and Performance Agreement 2021/2024

The recommendation is that Council resolves to enter into agreement with TPDD as a specialist service provider for destination tourism marketing and management to the amount of $400,000 for 2021/2022 with $50,000 increases in funding per annum for the following two year periods.


Douglas Chamber of Commerce – Amendment to Resource and Performance Agreement


Douglas Chamber of Commerce has submitted a request to amend their current Resource and Performance Agreement to extend the expiry date by three months from 30 June 2021 to 30 September 2021.

At an Ordinary Council Meeting on 30 June 2020, it was resolved to enter into a Resource and Performance Agreement with Douglas Chamber of Commerce for specialist business support, with funding of $50,000 (GST exc) for a period of one year dated from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
Following this, Council officers entered into discussions with the Douglas Chamber of Commerce to develop KPI’s that would focus on strong support for small businesses in the community and support economic growth for the Shire, while also encouraging structure and growth within the organisation.
The Resource and Performance Agreement was adopted at the Douglas Chamber of Commerce AGM on 17 September 2020 and effective from this date.


Council Grants Program 2019-20 – GBR Legacy – Variance in Project


The recommendation is that Council approves a variation to the GBR Legacy grant funding agreement to allow a
change of project from “Biorock Community Reef Restoration Project” to “Humpback Whale Community Research Project”.

GBR Legacy was awarded funding under Council’s Major Grant Round 2019-20 for the “Biorock Community Reef Restoration Project” to purchase equipment and train Indigenous rangers to scuba dive. GBR Legacy have requested a variation for the funding, with a new project proposed for camera equipment use being a “Humpback Whale Community Research Project.”



Enterprise Risk Management Policy, Framework and Corporate Risk Register

The recommendation is that the Council:

  1. Adopts the Enterprise Risk Management Policy; and
  2. Adopts the Enterprise Risk Management Risk Framework and Guideline; and
  3. Endorse the Corporate Risk Register.

Procurement General Policy

That Council adopts the Procurement General Policy for the 2021/22 financial year.

This report represents Douglas Shire Council’s policy for the acquisition of goods and services and adherence to “sound contracting principles” as stipulated in section 104 of the Local Government Act 2009 and section 198 of the Local Government Regulation 2012. This policy is required to be re-adopted by Council on an annual basis.

Council previously adopted the Procurement Policy on 25 May 2021. This policy outlines the responsibilities of officers regarding procurement and sound contracting principles as determined by legislation. A review of the policy has been undertaken by staff and the policy is presented to Council for re-adoption with minor additions (marked up). The Procurement Policy now includes a requirement for a Probity Plan for high value and/or high risk contract actions, as recommended by the Queensland Audit Office. The Policy also now includes reference to the Procurement Policy Exemption Tender Consideration for Council operated events, which was adopted on 20 August 2019.


Principal Place of Residence Policy

The proposal is that the Principal Place of Residence Policy is presented to Council for adoption.

The Principal Place of Residence Policy has been developed in conjunction with the ‘Revenue Statement’ and ‘Adoption of Differential General Rates’ to ensure that Council is consistent and fair in determining the status of ‘Principal Place of Residence’ and the method of allocation of a property to the appropriate Differential Rating Category.

Council initiated a General Rates review to achieve an Operational Plan objective for 2020-2021. Mead Perry Group was engaged to assist with this review. The results of the review were workshopped with Councillors and the proposed amendments to the general rates model were adopted as part of the Budget at the Special Council meeting on 15 June 2021.


As part of the general rates model amendments, there were changes to rating categories, which included the separation of some residential categories into ‘Principal Place of Residence’ and ‘Non-Principal Place of Residence’.
The Principal Place of Residence Policy has been developed in conjunction with the ‘Revenue Statement’ and ‘Adoption of Differential General Rates’ to ensure that Council is consistent and fair in determining the status of ‘Principal Place of Residence’ and the method of allocation of a property to the appropriate Differential Rating Category.

It is imperative that there is a clear policy to establish Principal Place of Residence’ status for the purpose of levying general rates.


QAO Interim Audit Management Letter 2021

That Council notes the observations contained within the Douglas Shire Council Interim Management Report to the Mayor (Observation Report) from the Queensland Audit Office for the 2020/21 financial year.
The Interim Management Report is presented to Council for noting. The report contains the current status of any audit issues outstanding.

Each financial year Council’s financial statements must be audited and for the 2019/20 financial year the audit is being undertaken by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO). Section 54 of the Auditor-General Act 2009 enables the QAO to prepare an Interim Management Report containing observations and suggestions about anything arising out of the audit during the interim audit. Where those observations or suggestions require further attention the QAO is required to provide a copy of the report to the Mayor.


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