AFTER months of political argy bargy between the State and Federal Governments on their Disaster Recovery commitments, the Whitsundays has finally secured a win.
The Federal government has now pledged an extra $18.8 million on top of the initial $29 million of Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) commitment, bringing the joint State-Federal commitment up to $96 million.
Shute Harbour is set to be the biggest beneficiary from the Federal Government’s decision to stump up more Category D assistance, with $15.2 million going towards the facility which was once the second biggest harbour in Australia.
Dawson MP George Christensen said the extra funding commitment would bring Shute Harbour “back up to speed”.
“And there’s an additional $1.8 million specifically for the seawall Betterment component of Shute Harbour,” he said.
Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to re-assess their commitment, and added the time for political games needed to end.
“What I’m hoping for now, is we don’t have any delays in this money coming through so we can actually start our projects as we are coming into another storm season now,” he said.
“We have a council office in Proserpine which is not habitable which we have to fix and sort out. There is plenty of work to do and we don’t want any games being played when it comes to the projects we put forward.”
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan rejected the notion political pressure had played a factor in the re-assessment, adding that it was a matter of requiring additional information which wasn’t initially received.
“We required basic information from the (State) Government about what was…
click here to read the rest of this story