Reconstruction Works Pass Major Milestone

Douglas Shire Council recently completed its road rehabilitation program north of the Daintree River, signifying a major milestone for Council’s first reconstruction program since it was de-amalgamated from Cairns Regional Council on 1 January 2014.

Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said contractor Robinsons Civil Group (RCG) completed the $7 million contract to repair dam?age sustained in early 2014.

The successful delivery of the contract will make a huge difference in the Shire and will leave a positive legacy that will bene?t com?munities in the north of the Shire for a very long me to come,” Cr Leu said. “Robinsons Civil Group impressed Council with their approach to safety, traffic management and quality of workmanship in a remote and sometimes taxing environment. To give an example of the challenges we faced in delivering a reconstruction program, the Daintree Ferry was used to carry approximately 4500 truckloads of gravel for road works between 1 July 2015 and the end of October 2015.”

“There’s also been a signifcant boost to the local economy with around $4 million spent with local businesses,” she said.

Council also identified opportunities to complete non NDRRA work while plant and equipment were in the region. The Mayor said Council sealed 1.5 kilometres of Rykers Road and undertook some silt reduction work in Turpentine Road to reduce run off into Coopers Creek.

“We were able to complete this at signifcantly reduced costs due to plant and equipment being on the ground for disaster recovery work,” Cr Leu said.

Tourism is the lynchpin of the economy for the Douglas region. With an 80 per cent economic reliance on tourism, Douglas Shire ranks as the most tourism dependent region in Australia.

“We needed to balance the need for Council to deliver a significant capital works program in a World Heritage Listed area which o?ered value for money, whilst maintaining a functioning road network and reducing the impact on road users. 

RCG Managing Director Bill Robinson said they loved working in the Douglas Shire.

The people in the community were great and the people we worked with at Council were fantastic,” Mr Robison said. In fact, Bill and his wife Kelene fell so much in love with the area that they bought two properties at Cow Bay, including the Cow Bay Hotel. 

Douglas Shire Council split its reconstruction program into two seconds, one for north of the Daintree and one for south of the Daintree.  The work to repair damage north of the Daintree was completed in November 2015 and Council anticipates the remaining work for south of the Daintree will be completed in early 2016.