Douglas Shire is the only place in the world where two World Heritage-listed areas meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. It attracts many thousands of domestic and international visitors each year.

Douglas Shire is a top destination for the involvement of residents in sustainable tourism and it has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and the protection of the two World Heritage Areas within its boundaries. Clear demonstration of the Council’s commitment to sustainability as adopted in its Corporate Sustainability Strategy are for example the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, monitoring and reducing the Council’s environmental footprint, and strengthening the Council’s resilience to climate change.

Douglas Shire also adopted the Economic Development Strategy with the key vision to become “the world’s leading sustainable tropical shire” and the key strategy of developing Douglas Shire as Australia’s leader in sustainable development has been identified.

Other key policies and strategies linked to sustainability that the Council has implemented include the Events Strategy 2015-2020, the Illegal Dumping Strategy, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan, the Drinking Water Quality Management Report and the Douglas Heritage Study.

Douglas Shire supports a number of initiatives to minimise transport impacts on the environment. For example, Douglas Shire Council adopted the State Government’s Principle Cycle Network Plan that identified key cycling routes throughout the Shire, while the Wet Tropics Management Authority has implemented its Conservation Strategy that includes measures to address access and mobility throughout the region. It has also implemented a Walking Strategy to encourage low impact access to the World Heritage Area.