Huts petition gathers steam

Huts in the Halifax Bay area that are under threat by the State Government.

A PETITION to save several historic huts in Halifax Bay is continuing to gather local support, as Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto calls on more residents to join the fight.

More than 450 local residents have backed the petition in either its paper or online form, both of which are sponsored by Mr Dametto.

“It is encouraging to see this groundswell of local support from the Herbert River District to save these huts, which carry deep historical, recreational and cultural significance,” he said.

“However, both paper and online petitions are due to be tabled in parliament early next month, and it’s time for everybody who hasn’t signed to do so already and send a clear message to this State Labor Government who are hell bent on taking our huts away.”

The call to arms follows local hut owners receiving letters from either the Department of Environment and Science or the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy to remove huts located within Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park and on unallocated state land.

Mr Dametto said the government’s push to remove the huts was “absolutely unnecessary” and an attempt to take away what has been an “integral part of Hinchinbrook Shire’s culture for as long as most can remember”.

“For generations, we have enjoyed these areas long before they were national parks and I believe the people who have utilised these areas have looked after them to the highest of standards. Hut owners have been the custodians of this eco-system for many years and have taken to teaching their children the importance of protecting the Halifax Bay area,” he said.

“I have taken the attack on these huts personally and have put the case forward to save these huts to the Department of Environment and Science, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch’s staff and Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham. While it angers me that there doesn’t appear to be an appetite to do so, we need to do everything we can to try and convince them otherwise. An instrumental tool we can use to push our case is this petition.

“We have seen this government do backflips when put under the right pressure, so it’s time to let them know that North Queenslanders will not tolerate our way of life being taken away from us.”

Mr Dametto said he would continue working with hut owners, the Halifax Bay Recreational and Lifestyle Association Incorporated, their legal representation as well as local council “to fight this to the bitter end”.

To view the e-petition, click here.

Nick Dametto MP