An LNP Government will direct Ports North to assume control of the canal providing access to the public boat ramp at Hinchinbrook Harbour – if it is successful at the coming state election.
Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, said all-tide access to public boat ramp at Hinchinbrook harbour was a key piece of public infrastructure for recreational and commercial boaties across the region.
Mr Cripps said after the latest owners of the development failed financially, he could no longer wait for a private investor to meet their obligations to provide all-tide access to the public boat ramp.
“The LNP has considered this issue carefully and instead of just promising money, we are offering a long term solution to this problem – not just a simplistic vote buying exercise” said Mr Cripps.
“By directing Ports North to assume control over the canal providing access to the public boat ramp, the LNP will ensure all-tide access will be restored and maintained going forward” he said.
“Ports North has the experience and capacity to engage dredging contractors to undertake the necessary works as part of it normal annual maintenance program at ports across the region”.
“The LNP will provide $4 million through the Queensland Government Marine Infrastructure Fund to bring the canal at Hinchinbrook Harbour back into service as an all-tide access boat ramp”.
Mr Cripps said he was very disappointed that the development owners had failed to meet their obligations, but local and visiting recreational and commercial boaties could not wait any longer.
“For Cardwell, the Cassowary Coast Region and the Hinchinbrook Shire, the tourism industry needs to be able to take advantage of our natural advantages in terms of marine activities”.
“We can’t do that without a reliable all-tide boat ramp at Hinchinbrook Harbour and there can’t be any further uncertainty about who is going to keep the canal maintained into the future”.
“To be clear, we are not proposing that Ports North will take responsibility for the marina – that will remain the responsibility of a future commercial investor – this plan relates to the canal only”.
“This commitment by the LNP is a well-considered solution – unlike the half-baked, simplistic proposals offered up by other parties without any real plan about how to get the job done”.
Mr Cripps said the restoration of the canal would address safety concerns in the local community in relation to the capacity of the Cardwell Coast Guard to respond to emergency calls for service.