The Palaszczuk Government has left the safety of boaties in the Cassowary Coast Region in limbo by failing to determine the future of the Tully Coast Guard radio installation on Mount Mackay.
Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, said in responding to a petition signed by more than 1,100 North Queenslanders, Energy Minister Mark Bailey had not delivered any certainty to the community.
Mr Cripps said the Minister’s response* advised that the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service would cover the initial payment of $10,000 to allow discussions with Ergon Energy to continue.
“This means the Tully Coast Guard is not off the hook for the other $30,000 it has been told they will be required to pay over the next three years, so nothing has been resolved” said Mr Cripps.
“While we have secured a temporary reprieve, I’m amazed Minister Bailey has not been able to see that this situation is clearly ridiculous and sorted this problem out immediately” he said.
“The volunteer members of the Tully Coast Guard could be forced to raise $30,000 over the next three years through public fundraising, just to keep its radio installation going – it’s madness”.
“The situation confronting the Tully Coast Guard is insulting – these volunteers are providing a vital community marine safety service and they deserve more respect than this temporary band aid”.
“The Palaszczuk Government has proved it can’t make a decision about anything – this should be an open and shut case to fix up, but this Minister is incapable of a common sense solution”.
Mr Cripps said he was increasingly concerned about the local emergency Channel 80 being out of operation and the condemned the Palaszczuk Government for not restoring the service.
“Boaties in the Cassowary Coast Region have been without access to Channel 80 for months now and the problem also extends to public sector agencies, such as Marine Safety Queensland’.
“This is a serious marine safety issue, but Labor has failed to fix the infrastructure and Minister Bailey hasn’t ruled out trying to extort the Tully Coast Guard to pay for it – it’s disgraceful”.
Mr Cripps said he would continue to support the Tully Coast Guard and work with its volunteers to restore the Channel 80 service and have Ergon Energy’s proposed charges dismissed.