Statement from Nick Dametto MP – Port Hinchinbrook (March)

Port Hinchinbrook.

14 March 2024

In my last statement regarding Port Hinchinbrook dated 19 February 2024, I outlined my plans to continue meeting with State Government Ministers regarding a long-term dredging plan for One Mile Creek and the marina basin. The normalisation process for the land-based assets at Port Hinchinbrook are well underway this is why it’s now time to turn our attention to normalising the water-based assets.

As I’ve previously stated, it is necessary to break the dredging into two parts, emergency dredging of One Mile Creek for public access to the boat ramp, and a long-term solution for the dredging of One Mile Creek and the marina.

I am of the understanding that the Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC) has commissioned a Hydrographic Survey report that could assist with developing a future dredge management plan for Port Hinchinbrook. The CCRC is also said to be investigating the potential to remove 1,000 tonnes of sediment annually. A recommendation is expected to be delivered to Council for their endorsement following the Local Government Election.

In my opinion the removal of 1,000 tonnes of sediment in the short term is a colossal waste of the $1.5 million secured for emergency dredging. Although, removing this volume of mud will provide some relief, from my calculations it will not provide all tidal access by any stretch of the imagination. I have highlighted this throughout my discussions with both the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Bart Mellish, and Premier, Steven Miles when I met with them last week.

Recent discussions with Ministers have been encouraging, and I believe it is appropriate that residents and interested parties are kept informed of how things are progressing at the State level.

With a long-term dredging strategy front of mind, I briefed the Transport and Main Roads Minister on what role his departments could potentially play with the ongoing dredging of One Mile Creek. The Minister understood not only the frustration of locals and visiting boat ramp users but also the safety concerns with the Coast Guard not able to deploy their vessel in times of emergency. The Minister committed to investigate potential dredging maintenance models that could be applied to Port Hinchinbrook. I look forward to his response.

Although I was encouraged by the response from the Transport Minister, I felt it necessary to request a commitment from the Premier for a multi-departmental approach to aid in completing the normalisation process.

The Premier, who previously supported our plight to fix the complex problems of Port Hinchinbrook played a major role by providing $6.3 million of State funding during his time as Minister for State Development. This funding was used to acquire the roads and sewage treatment system, commence construction of the Sewage Treatment Plant and road maintenance.

I believe the Premier understands the complexities of Port Hinchinbrook and the barriers that must be overcome to fully normalise this area of Cardwell and the Cassowary Coast. Our discussions will continue to centre around a long-term dredging plan and removing the burden of the conformed deed from the Port Hinchinbrook properties.

Finally, I also recently met with the Local Government Minister, Meaghan Scanlon, I have been assured that her office will continue to work with the CCRC to notify and encourage them in applying for future grant and funding opportunities to help assist with the current six-million-dollar shortfall for the new Cardwell Sewage Treatment Plan.

I look forward to keeping everyone updated and I am hopeful for the future of Cardwell.


Nick Dametto MP