Landmark cycling event slated for Douglas Shire


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival will be put forward to at this week's Council Meeting. Image: Con Chronis, Grand Fondo event in Victoria.
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A landmark cycling event slated for the Douglas Shire and titled the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival, will be put forward at Tuesday’s Open session of Council.

And it will be determined whether Council will agree to providing a letter of support to Connect Sport Australia to accompany their funding application for the Festival which has been scheduled for September 10-12.

Connect Sport Australia is a Far North Queensland-based company that runs cycling tours in Australia and Japan. They’re also the leading charity cycling event company in Australia, managing charity cycling tours for various charities since 2011: Ronald McDonald House; MS Australia; Variety, the Children’s Charity; Cancer Council SA (Official event of the Tour Down Under UCI World Tour Event).

“Council’s support for the Festival would recognise the vital role events in attracting new, high-yield special-interest markets and generating business in both shoulder and low seasons for the entire community.

“These factors are significant to ensure the long-term sustainability of the region’s most significant industry and employer, which has been so detrimentally affected during this COVID era.

“Success of the Festival is reliant on a half-day rolling road closure for sections of the Captain Cook Highway on 12 September 2021 between Palm Cove and Wangetti (5:30am-11:30am) and Wangetti and Port Douglas (6am – 1:30pm),” according to Council agenda documents.

Based on economic impact data from the 2016 Amy's Great Ocean Road Gran Fondo in Victoria, it’s estimated that in its first year, the Port Douglas Gran Fondo Festival will deliver a cash injection of over $3.8M to the Douglas Shire economy, with a 5% growth rate each year thereafter.

As the event grows and participation builds there is potential for the event to deliver over $10M within four years. Connect Sport Australia is a local events business and will aim to spend the majority of operational costs locally, further delivering positive results for the local economy.

Fondo cycling is an endurance challenge for the masses. A fondo is a giant party on wheels where cyclists compete against the clock and each other. Much like a marathon, fondo participation can swell into the thousands. The size keeps spirits up making each event an epic group ride.

The first Gran Fondo ever held was Nove Colli on July 12, 1970 in Cesenatico, Italy. Today, Nove Colli is perhaps Italy’s biggest cycling party with a large two-day event and 12,000 riders taking on three distances (80km, 120km and 200km).


Council will decide whether to endorse the following projects and funds under Phase Two of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program:

i) Macrossan and Owen Street Intersection Upgrade $140,000.00 (GST Exc)
ii) Beach Access upgrades to Four Mile Beach $170,000.00 (GST Exc)
iii) Mossman Pool Shade Sails $90,000.00 (GST Exc)
iv) Pop up Engagement container/trailer $80,000.00 (GST Exc)
v) Bump Track Access parking $27,981.00 (GST Exc)


Council will consider endorsing applications to Building Better Regions Fund Round Five for:

a) Mossman Shire Hall electrical, mechanical and building upgrades (including air conditioning)
b) Marrs Creek Cycle & Pedestrian Bridge and shared path to Mossman Gorge Centre
c) Cooya Beach Reservoir Connection 2.

And commits a 10% contribution in the 2021-22 Budget towards eligible project costs for each project, if successful.

The Australian Government Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) aims to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future with grants of $20,000.00 to $10M to cover 50% or more of eligible project costs. 


The Rates Rebate – Not for Profit Entities Policy – will be presented to Council for adoption.

Council may grant concessions to ratepayers who satisfy eligibility criteria. The Rates Rebate – Not for Profit Entities Policy, establishes the guidelines and level of assistance Council will grant to eligible not for profit, sporting and community groups.


The Financial Report of the 2020/21 revised budget for the period ended 31 January 2021 will be tabled
Key points:

• Operating revenue is ahead of budget by $22K.
• Operating expenditure is under budget by $1.8M.
• The Operating Surplus is currently $8.9m, compared to a budgeted Surplus of $7.0M


5.1 Infrastructure Charges Resolution
5.2 Support for the Port Douglas Grand Fondo Festival
5.3 Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program
5.4 Drinking Water Quality Management Plan revised version
5.5 Contract WO5040-02 – Donovan Range Pavement Upgrade
5.6 Capital Works Progress Report for the 2nd Quarter 2020-2021
5.7 Building Better Regions Fund Round 5 – Co-Contribution
5.8 Rates Rebate – Not for Profit Entites Policy
5.9 Rates Incentive for Conservation Policy
5.10 Rates Rebate for Daintree River Huts Policy
5.11 Financial Report January 2021
5.12 Audit Committee Meeting Minutes – 7 December 2020
9.1 Closed Session Table of Contents

Council Meetings are now open to the public. There will be a maximum of 10 people allowed and will not need to pre-register.

The meeting will be live-streamed on the Council website.

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