Statement from Nick Dametto MP – Port Hinchinbrook (June)

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader Nick Dametto at Port Hinchinbrook.

4 June 2024

Back in mid-May I announced that a meeting would occur at the end of the month between the Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC) and the State Government regarding a long-term strategy for dredging at Port Hinchinbrook and finalising the normalisation process of the development.

A meeting went ahead as planned on Friday, 31 May 2024 in Cairns. In attendance was the CCRC Mayor Teresa Millwood, CCRC Division 1 Councillor Peter Reed, CCRC CEO Andrew Graffen and various CCRC operational staff. From the State Government, representatives from Economic Development Queensland and the Premier and Cabinet were in attendance.

It was a great opportunity to have both levels of government in the same room to discuss the entirety of issues that plague Port Hinchinbrook but to also discuss the very real potential that this area holds if the right steps are taken to move it forward. This is the first time in six and a half years where we have had the CCRC and the State in the same room to agree that the normalisation of Port Hinchinbrook is critical to its redevelopment. All parties unanimously agreed that if remediated and set up correctly, Port Hinchinbrook could become an asset once again for the greater Cassowary Coast Region.

I understand how frustrated residents are and some see meetings such as this as a waste of time. Residents understandably want to see less talk and more action however in this instance it is imperative that the long-term strategy adopted for Port Hinchinbrook is examined and scoped out with a forensic level of detail given the numerous complexities attached to the area.

The meeting adjourned with some clear outcomes, including:

  • The CCRC confirming their willingness to be a part of a broader plan in regard to what part they could play in conjunction with the State to develop a long-term strategy for dredging at Port Hinchinbrook and finalising the normalisation process of the development.
  • Economic Development Queensland to undertake further legal examination of possible options that could be taken in order to add value and de-risk the project for a potential future developer of the marina basin and land assets.

The outcome of Economic Development Queensland’s further investigations will be vital to what happens next. Pending their findings, we should be in a position to put options on the table and have an open and transparent negotiation about what avenue will provide the best long-term outcome for all Port Hinchinbrook stakeholders as well as being financially and legally viable for each party involved.

It was uplifting to be in a room surrounded by people who have now confirmed they share the same vision for what this last of a kind development along the Queensland east coast could become.

The timeframe for a response from Economic Development Queensland has not been provided as this was understandably difficult to predict. I intend to utilise my time during next week’s Parliamentary sitting week to once more meet with the Premier and the Director-General of Economic Development Queensland to narrow this down. I look forward to being in a position to update you all further in the coming weeks.


Nick Dametto MP