Marina still top of mind despite virus


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Mayor Michael Kerr said he would still like to see this project continue in the future.
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In November last year, Crystalbrook Collection owner, Ghassan Aboud, made the decision to indefinitely put on hold the re-development of the Port Douglas Marina.

It took few by surprise with some even hinting that he had been a victim of his own circumstances by opening three Cairns hotels.

At the time, he said the proposed $250 million Marina development had been placed on hold pending the future of increased traffic through Cairns Airport and support from the State Government to boost tourism numbers.

Fast forward six months, the world is a different place thanks to COVID-19 and although, like most and acknowledging the impracticalities at this time, Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr would still like to see this development move forward.

“This is a difficult one. We are all in the same boat. Although we cannot meet with him (Mr Aboud), we are in direct contact with his management team and we will continue to support them.

“And I want to see this development move forward; I want to see it happen, we need this development,” said Mayor Kerr, who bemoaned the fact we may not see international tourism for 18 months.

As COVID-19 continues to dominate our lives, projects like this one face enormous challenges and the decision to put it on hold is not likely to change. Locals persistently lament the need for improvements, but this is also not going to happen any time soon.

Last year Hotel News outlined what could be expected from the proposed development.

“A scene revealing three low-rise towers loaded with solar panels, a central water feature and surrounded by multiple swimming pools has been revealed by Crystalbrook Collection as the first images of its forthcoming ultra-luxury hotel at Port Douglas Superyacht Marina.

“According to the plans, the site will feature a 100-room five-star hotel alongside a 30-room ‘ultra-lux’ hotel at the marina – Australia’s northern-most developed yachting launch pad. In addition, 15 apartments and five waterfront villas – all likely to be sold on a residential basis – will be part of the North Queensland development.”

Mayor Kerr, meanwhile, said he was maintaining contact with Warren Entsch, the Federal Member for Leichhardt, and will meet with him when the latter is in Port Douglas this week; as well as staying in touch with state and local government officials.  

Entsch has made reference in Parliament to the Local Government elections which saw sweeping changes to those who will lead their local communities across his electorate for the next four years.

“Douglas Shire Council elected a new leader in Michael Kerr, who defeated the incumbent, Julia Leu, in a hard-fought race, and it’s great to see that Michael has really hit the ground running and is making some great decisions there.

“There’s certainly a whole new spark in what’s happening in the Douglas Shire, and I look forward to working very closely with him into the future,” said Entsch.

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