Tuesday 5 February 2008

Douglas’ Tourism Levy for Cairns

Cairns Mayor Kevin Byrne made a dramatic endorsement this morning on Port Douglas Radio and local Councillor and Division 10 candidate Rod Davis was there with the questions.

The lead by Douglas in funding its tourism promotion through Council levies got some new traction in the amalgamated election debate today.

In a friendly radio chat between council candidates Rod Davis and Kevin Byrne, through Radio Port Douglas’s Rodcast Breakfast show, Rod posed the question of a tourism promotion levy being raised in Cairns, rather than sinking Douglas Shire’s $400,000 pa input to the Port Douglas Daintree Tourism.

It was good to see Mayor Byrne enthused support for the tourism levy concept, and with it, the added benefit that will flow through to tourism promotion for the benefit of Cairns. Of all the divisions where tourism is import, surely Division 10 with its Daintree, Port Douglas and Palm Cove, stand the most to gain if heat is kept under the tourism promotion burners.
Of course, the recent renaissance of Douglas’s tourism body, the Port Douglas Daintree Tourism, has heightened nervousness in Douglas that it’s well funded future maybe be short lived. Maybe it’s a case of Douglas leading Cairns when it comes to this subject.
Whilst the on-air in debate did not get into the nitty gritty of the mechanisms and methods by which a levy could be raised in Cairns, it was nonetheless reassuring to the tourism sector in Douglas, and likely Cairns, that Cairns may build on, rather than undermine the funding methods of Douglas' tourism organisation.
With intense competition from the competing regions and destinations of Australia now well advanced, it was good to see Kevin Byrne step up to the mark on the issue, when asked.
Val Schier has, in similar on air conversations with Rod, shown inclination towards supporting the tourism levy concept.
From my point of view, as a candidate, it's good to back a seemingly successful Douglas idea, and open the election debate.

It's bananas at breakfast for Kevin, so he claimed, and I would agree, but at this time of the year my breakfast addiction is mangosteins.
Eve got it wrong when she went for a mere apple.
From my point of view, having laboured to have the Douglas tourism funding almost doubled, the acceptance in the sense of this model model being spread to Cairns, is indeed promising.
Clearly more debate is needed, but now is the time that both Val Shier and Kevin Byrne, were more forthright about their position of raising a tourism levy.
Also, of interest to Cairns may be the way the levy is raised in Douglas. Overnight holiday rental accommodation pays around $200 more in rates each year, plus a separate levy is raised from the commercial and commercial accom sector. Whilst its catches a few complaining businesses, overall the community has been in favour of the levy for some time.
Douglas knows that if its destination marketing falls behind, the business is impacted way harder than the cost of the extra $200 pa per holiday unit.
Local accomodation managers who get nothing but complaints from their southern strata title owners - who don’t get a vote unlike NSW - may now get the destination marketing boost they need.
Technically, owners who have rental units with leases to locals of over 3 month’s duration don’t pay the rate based tourism levy.
As an aside, on the tourism front, Douglas could breathe some relief today, when struggling MFS Group were reported to have sold off their tourism arm Stella to an Asian buyer of equity group, CVC . Bale management goes with the Stella sale, but whether Bale builder keep building is unsure as yet.
Much of my personal effort in Douglas as a councillor has been focused in supporting the billion dollar Douglas tourism industry that supports 80% to 90% of this Shire, where over 90% of this Shire’s employment is within the Shire, and is either directly or indirectly driven by tourism earnings.
This shift in ideas could be as good for Palm Cove as it has been for Douglas.


Anonymous said...

KB Biggest Nightmare, aside from a diet that is!!

If you want to see “JELLY WOBBLE” ask KB to put his intentions in writing and see what happens;

He’ll loose his pen,
then Dennis Dick’s pen and for the first time in his insignificant little life will be incapable of writing.
Garry Schofield’s little crayon will be all melted from holding and shaking it more than three times.
Peter Tabulo’s pencil is and has been out of lead for many years now and can only be refilled when one of the preferred developers drops off a purse filled with silver so he can then rush out and but some Viagra.
John Hawkes, that secret little beaver he is, sits in the background engineering Kev’s future kingdom plucking a quill out of his wing every time he decides to destroy another section of Cairn’s beautiful environs, yet at this very important moment he too will be fresh out of quills,
Simon Clarke, his computer will have a flat battery and the printer out of ink, he’ll phone the rest of his department for backup but being so well trained they’ll leave him to take the fall for not being better prepared,
Laurie Phipps, he will disallow the entire notion, Stating “if in fact someone did by some unfortunate chain of events drop this piece of paper and it had a name on it he would be left with NO option but to diligently track them down and prosecute then under Cairns City Council’s Local Law 28 for unlawfully posting a sign on the footpath” Oh and Julie Wright would be tagging along to assist with the YES factor.
With the entire episode unfolding in the shade of some insignificant sign at Smithfield with all those involved having their heads firmly planted up their own arses thus denying that the sign actually exists.

Holly shit I almost felt like Rod Davis typing all that, it’s the sort of dribble he would come out with for a yes or no answer to a question.

Enough Rope

Oh Factman; the Amanda story is coming to a Blog near you soon!!!!

Anonymous said...

From his comments, Brian R Searle [good story how about those of us who are not up with the abreviations MFS and Stella] does not appear to be even remotely connected to the tourism industry in Queensland; own a strata titled unit branded Mantra or Breakfree; read the share pages or read the newspapers too closely of late or he would be well aware of the MFS group.

If so, he would also realise that ‘Stella’ is not an abbreviation. Perhaps we can forgive Brian’s ignorance if he’s not from Queensland (or a ‘basket weaver’) although it begs the question how he found Rod’s web page if he doesn’t have some interest in the trials and tribulations of the Douglas Shire and matters affecting its residents and visitors.

Like it or not, mainstream tourism is the crux of the village’s existence and has been since the long gone halcyon days [tongue-in-cheek] of Pixie Skase cruising down Macrossan Street in a golf buggy waving at her plebian subjects…..

Come one Brian, and others like you - as I don’t wish to sound critical of one individual: you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Rod’s page is a beginning - not an end - and should be used as a jumping off point for further individual enquiry and investigation and not necessarily as definitive answer to all the questions.

Take individual responsibility and use what, at least on the face of it, is an excellent forum for all Douglas Shire residents to take Rod’s lead and actively join the debate(s). Sqeaky wheels get the most attention! Love him or loathe him (and there are lots who’ve engaged in heated arguments with him over the years), Rod’s web page is an impressive demonstration of his intellect; overall grasp of the region’s problems and willingness to engage the wider community regardless of the potential detriment of doing so so.

I’m no longer a resident of the shire’s immediate environs so, irrespective of the volcanic eruptions concerning Qld council amalgamations, I couldn’t contribute to Rod’s Council aspirations even if I wanted to so these are the comments of nothing more than an interested observer.

Nonetheless- back to the seemingly less than stellar performance of Stella - be careful not to confuse body corporate expenditure with that of the caretaker. One, the body corporate, is a collective of owners in a strata titled complex expending levy monies raised (administrative or sinking funds) in accordance with legislative requirements. The other, the caretaker, buys management rights and is formally and contractually engaged to look after the common property of the body corporate for an annual remuneration. Therefore, if you are talking about local tradies not being paid or being concerned about whether or not they will received payment for their services, it would seem logical to assume that any concerns in that area result from the recent public difficulties of MFS/Stella and would reasonably be limited to any new development (ie Bale) rather than to the established properties with a division of the MFS group as its caretaker.

There are many, owners included, who take little or no interest in the complexities of strata title ownership and it leads to many, many misunderstandings in this area.