Council planning for future generations

2018-19 ANNUAL REPORT

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said Council is ensuring that its forward thinking is having a positive effect and will impact future generations.

In her message to the 2018-19 annual report, which was the only item on the agenda at an Ordinary Meeting at Council Chambers today, she said she is very pleased to report that Council is planning for future generations.

This is the sixth Annual Report of the Douglas Shire Council.

“Following de-amalgamation from Cairns in 2014 and the successful establishment of the new Douglas Shire Council, I am very pleased to report that Council is planning for future generations.

“We want to leave a legacy that puts Douglas Shire in better shape financially, environmentally and socially.

As the only place in the world home to two World Heritage-listed natural wonders, looking after the environment is at the forefront of our actions as we strive to leave the Douglas Shire in a better state than when we found it,” she said.

In terms of the delivery of projects, she said through the 2018-2019 capital works program, Council spent $12.062 million and a total of $18.225 million with the carry over projects from the previous year.

“Our crews delivered an impressive 56 projects during this time. We curated the most successful Port Douglas Carnivale in its 25-year history with a record-breaking crowd injecting $1.7 million into the region over 10 days.

“It was only the second time we organised the event and Council ensured it exceeded expectations, continuing to contribute to a vibrant events calendar that makes our region a great place to live and visit.

“The new 20ML Port Douglas Water Supply Reservoir - Council’s biggest ever capital works project – was officially opened in November last year, reinforcing our strategy to invest in infrastructure that strengthens our water resilience,” said Mayor Leu.

Mayor Leu said The Annual Report reflects the resilience of the organisation and its ability to persevere through a testing wet season, which saw extreme weather and record major flooding of the Daintree River.

“Recovery efforts doubled our workload and put pressure on our civil crews with an estimated $17 million damage bill.

“But, despite this, Council is still projecting its first budget surplus in the 2019-2020 financial year. It is a credit to Council’s focus on prudent financial management that the impact of extreme weather and the emergent works were mitigated appropriately.”

Reflecting on his first year as CEO, Mark Stoermer said it has been a year of change and renewal.

Over the past year, we have seen many new faces at Council who bring their talent, enthusiasm and ideas. We also said goodbye to some fantastic long-term employees and I would like to thank all of them for their contribution.

“We implemented a new organisational structure which removed one layer of management in order to flatten the structure. Ultimately, the new structure aims to improve customer service through more cross-departmental collaboration and less bureaucracy. The savings have been used to fund other vital projects and positions,” he said.

He said when Mother Nature tested the organisation’s ability to cope – the shire experienced one of its most testing weather conditions during this period – Council was able to meet each new crisis with professionalism and expertise.

“This season the Council was more prepared than ever with a rigorous disaster response plan and community access to flood monitoring works and the online Disaster Dashboard. The dedication of staff showed over and over again.”

Visit: https://douglas.qld.gov.au/download/council_meetings/meeting_agendas/3.1-Annual-Report-2018-2019.pdf 


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