Dametto to take Feds to task over dredge promise
HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto says he “will stop at nothing” to ensure a Federal Government promise of up to $1.5 million to dredge Cardwell’s One Mile Creek is kept when he meets Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today.
The Katter’s Australian Party MP is meeting with Mr McCormack in Canberra to thrash out the details of the election promise made by the LNP candidate for Kennedy, including a timeframe for delivering the dredging funds and whether the promise is contingent on State Government funding.
“My intentions are clear – to ensure this critical promise to the people of Cardwell is kept by the Federal Government and I want an ironclad guarantee from Mr McCormack, who is also Infrastructure Minister, that the funding will be delivered,” Mr Dametto said.
“We’ve had a State Shadow Minister and LNP branch members spruiking to the local council and key stakeholders that the money is there, without any evidence or action from the Federal Coalition.
“Let me be frank – if the LNP wants to maintain credibility in the North, they will come good on this one.
“The Coalition were all too willing to dish out some big spending promises to the North during the election. Let’s see if they put their money where their mouth is.
“Cardwell has been crying out for dredging for almost a decade now and locals have had enough of the political inaction over this from both the LNP and Labor Party. $1.5 million is the kickstart this project needs and it would be a massive step forward in reigniting the Cardwell economy”.
Mr Dametto urged the State Labor Government to come to the table and pitch in with additional funding to fully realise the project.
“More funding is going to be needed to see the One Mile Creek dredging project completed,” he said.
“We need a team effort between all stakeholders to fix the problems of the Port Hinchinbrook development, including both the Federal and State governments.
The future of Cardwell’s economy depends on this breadwinning asset being restored to its former glory.”
Mr Dametto said the current antiquated conformed deed was “an obstruction holding this re-development back”.
“This deed states that dredging is the responsibility of Port Hinchinbrook’s developer. The developer is in liquidation. There currently is no developer,” he said.
“How long will the State and local government let Cardwell’s economy suffer before they realise they have a civic responsibility to maintain this State-owned waterway, which the council has the responsibility to maintain and keep clean?
“The Department of State Development needs to rework the conformed deed so residents can move forward with their lives.
“All-tidal access does not just benefit tourism and the local economy but allows Cardwell Coast Guard to respond to vessels in distress at any hour. That could mean the difference between life and death.
“Enough of the political handballing. Let’s make this project happen.”