Economic Drivers to Keep Douglas Competitive
Just south of our shire is a city developing exponentially, and while many of us would agree that we don’t want any town in our region to become another Cairns, their local council are setting themselves up for massive residential and tourist growth.
This has the potential to have a devastating effect on our shire if we don’t introduce sensible and creative economic drivers that suit our region. Port Douglas is no longer a sleepy fishing town, Daintree Village is a gateway to the largest rainforest in Australia and yet tourism has seen a slump in recent times. And while the cane industry is still an important aspect of our local economy and community, neither Mossman nor the rest of the shire can continue to rely on it as one of the main drivers for employment and income.
Council needs to pivot towards a local economy that is attractive to developers and investors in its own unique way. Drivers such as the Mossman Botanic Garden, Marina Project and Mossman Mill Bio-Precinct are all positive economic boosters that should be celebrated and supported. We can help formulate other great projects similar to these if we collaborate whenever possible with all levels of government and private investors to incubate new opportunities that will create jobs, better incomes, greater investment and renewed confidence in our shire, strengthening our economic base and positioning it to grow further.
A stronger, broader-based and resilient local economy will also give us the ability to continue to protect areas of our shire – the Daintree, our wonderful beaches, the reef, amongst others – that are crucial “natural” drivers of our tourism sector.