On The Agenda at Tomorrow’s Douglas Shire Council Meeting

Douglas Shire Council gave notice on Thursday that, in accordance with Section 254B (4) of the Local Government Regulation 2012, that the Ordinary Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, 26 October 2021 has been changed and will now be held on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 commencing at 10.00am at the Council Chambers, 64-66 Front Street, Mossman.

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



Council is in receipt of a development application for a material change of use for Air Services (Helicopter pad and pilots accommodation) at a site adjacent the Captain Cook Highway near Yule Point. The applicant seeks to establish a private helicopter pad equipped with a hangar, refuelling and servicing facilities and pilots accommodation with approval for flights in and out by helicopter.

The proposed helicopter operation is to provide a base for commercial lifting operations and is not for any proposed scenic flight tour operations. Primarily the lifting operations are planned for the construction of the Wangetti Trail.

The application is recommended for approval subject to conditions.


The site was previously occupied by the former Mango Jam Restaurant. Since the restaurant closed a number of years ago the premises had been irregularly occupied. Application has been made to redevelop the land with new shops, retaining the car parking in the rear yard, side driveway and vehicle crossover onto Macrossan Street.

The proposal seeks to redevelop the land as three new shops generally as per the current site layout with all new premises extending forward to the front property boundary. All shops are single storey, each with single toilet.
The existing car parking area, at the rear of the shops, will be utilised and accommodate a disability car parking space. Thirteen (13) car parking spaces will be accommodated in the rear car parking area.
Disability access to the new premises will be via the front door to the street. Both vehicle and pedestrian access to the car parking will be via the side driveway. The applicant contends that disability access is not a matter that requires attention at this stage.
A communal bin storage and plant areas are to be located behind the shops. Steps provide access between this service area and the rear car park.
A new awning will project over the footpath and setback from the kerb to maintain the existing street trees. The new awning incorporates a vegetated cover through the upper horizontal awning frame and includes a watering system. The awning has a toughened glass layer ensuring full weather protection for pedestrians beneath.

No concern is raised with the use of the land for shops.
Concern is held with the ability for the development to provide adequate disability access between the nominated car parking space in the rear yard and the street entrance to the shops.
In particular, the sharing of the side driveway for vehicle and pedestrian access needs to be designed to a safe standard. A mandatory requirement of the Commonwealth Premises Standards, in Council’s decision making, is to ensure the adequacy of access for disabled persons. Council has acknowledged the Premises Standards by the inclusion of disability access considerations in the Planning Scheme, requiring both the car parking space and disability access are to be designed and provided on the land having regard to the respective Australian Standards. The accessibility requirements, in the Planning Scheme’s Access,
Parking and Servicing Code applies for all self-assessable development where parking is required. The Australian Standards nominate maximum slope grades and requirements for guard rails. To achieve this requirement, a condition of the approval has required suitable disability access.
A separate condition requires the provision of at least five bicycle parking spaces, to meet the Acceptable Outcome. The applicant contends that three spaces are sufficient given the location of the shops in the town centre. Douglas Shire has traditionally had a high rate of workers cycling to work and the demand indicated by the Planning Scheme codes reflects the
need to provide onsite bicycle parking for both visitors and workers attending the premises.


Council has received a proposal from a landowner with respect to obtaining a permanent road closure over part of unnamed road reserve off Toll Gate Road Oak Beach, adjoining Lot 129 on SR454. If the permanent road closure is approved by DOR, the applicant intends to amalgamate the subject area of road reserve into their adjoining freehold property.

Council is unable to authorise the proposed permanent road closure, as it does not have a local law which empowers it to do so. As such, Council must complete a form, indicating that it requests DOR to consider the application under the Land Act 1994 with respect to this matter.

Internal consultation at Council was undertaken, where it was determined that Planning officers had concerns with the proposal as submitted.


Douglas Shire Council was successful in obtaining a Commonwealth Grant from the Department of Social Services for Safe Places Emergency Accommodation. The grant was executed by both parties on 27 March 2021. A condition of the grant is that all Queensland based organisations including Local Government are required to provide executed securities in the form of a First Registered Mortgage/Covenant.

The recommendation is that Council resolves to register a Covenant on the title for a period of 15 years naming the Covenantee as the Commonwealth of Australia as Represented by the Department of Health and Ageing.


Under the Bridge Renewal Program Round 5, Queensland Government and Councils work together to fund the upgrade and replacement of bridges to enhance access for local communities and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access.
Council earlier resolved to enter into a funding agreement with the Australian Government under the Bridge Renewal Program Round 5.
An open tender for construction of the proposed Warners Bridge was advertised. Council received four submissions. These tenders
were accepted and evaluated by Douglas Shire Council officers, resulting in awarding a submission from NQ Civil Contractors Pty Ltd.

The tender price of $938,277.00 (GST exclusive), submitted by NQ Civil Contractors Pty Ltd was the lower of the three conforming tenders and their submission scored above average across all the assessment categories.

This report recommends that Council resolve to enter into a contract with NQ Civil Contractors Pty Ltd to deliver the construction phase of the Warners Bridge Project.


This report documents progress on key operational and service delivery areas as well as the Regulatory compliance status within the Water and Wastewater department for the period 1 July to 30 September 202.

This report enables Councillors and the community to obtain a strategic view of activities within the Water and Wastewater department. The Quarterly Report documents progress on key operational and service delivery aspects and regulatory compliance levels.
Council reports that whilst the results are generally positive, the areas for improvement are noted and will be the focus of the department over the next quarter. Notable capital improvements include the completion of the Craiglie Reservoir, the replacement of the SBR aeration blowers, digestor blowers and the digester aeration system located at the Port Douglas Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Under the Disaster Management Act 2003, a local government must prepare and approve a Local Disaster Management Plan (LDMP) for disaster management in the local government’s area. The existing plan has recently been updated with new information as a result of a review by the Local Disaster Coordinator.


The Chief Executive Officer has authority to issue Corporate Credit Cards as necessary for operational requirements. Corporate Credit Cards are issued to each Manager, Chief Executive Officer and Mayor if they choose to have one. The Chief Executive Officer may delegate authority for other Council employees to be issued with a Corporate Credit Card for operational purposes.
The Corporate Credit Card Policy was last adopted in March 2021. The Policy provides detail around who may hold a Corporate Card, security, stringent guidelines regarding usage, recording of documentation and reporting of theft or fraud.
The Policy has been reviewed and minor administrative changes made to the wording as recommended by the Internal Auditors (Pacifica Chartered Accountants) The changes are regarding cards not being permitted for certain transactions and to be returned during times of extended leave.


Council initiated a General Rates review to achieve an Operational Plan objective for 2020-2021.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 was 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.


The linked Financial Report details the progress of the 2021/22 annual budget for the period ended 30 September 2021. Key points to note include the following:
+ Operating revenue is ahead of budget by $627k.
+ Operating expenditure is under budget by $737k.
+ The Operating Surplus is currently $6.3m, compared to a budgeted Surplus of $5.0m.


That Council resolves to nominate the close down period for 2021 as being from midday Friday 24 December 2021 and re-open on Tuesday 4 January 2022.



That Council receives and notes the Organisational Report Card and the Report from the Chief Executive Officer for the period July to September 2021.

These reports present an outline of the operational initiatives and progress made by Council’s administration from July to September 2021. As part of the administration’s review and continual improvement in the way the business of Council is communicated, the “Organisational Report Card” was developed to provide a regular snapshot for Councillors and the community on a selection of operational indicators.


The report details the progress for the first quarter of this financial year in implementing Council’s Operational Plan 2021-2022. To deliver the initiatives detailed in this year’s Operational Plan, a comprehensive internal program has been developed which is
regularly reviewed by the Management Team to ensure work priorities are being met. It is recommended that Council notes the progress of the implementation of the Operational Plan.


Councillor Abigail Noli concerning the housing shortage in Douglas. It is proposed that as a matter of urgency, Council facilitates a working group to investigate and when possible, implement short term measures to address the housing shortage in Douglas.

Housing shortage in Douglas has reached a critical stage. The lack of housing is not contained to low socio-economic status but across a broader range of economic levels. As a leader and having available resources, Council has the ability to bring together all stakeholders in an effort to address, if at all possible, the shortage in the shire at the moment.


9.1 Confidential 254J 3 G Local Government Regulation 2012 – Ozcare Trustee Lease Rent Review-Lot 11 SP204465
9.2 Confidential 254J 3 G Local Government Regulation 2012 – Road Encroachment-Lot 1 RP748285
9.3 Confidential 254J 3 E Local Government Regulation 2012 – Approval of Personal Expenses – Former Chief Executive Officer