THE state Labor government yesterday stumped up $2.65 million to fund improvements to the Airlie Beach foreshore in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad from Airlie Beach yesterday said that the decision to fund the project came following the Turnbull LNP Government's failure to support community recovery through Category D funding.
"The Whitsundays were devastated by Cyclone Debbie and this funding will provide a vital boost to the recovery effort,” Ms Trad said.
"It's been five months since Cyclone Debbie crossed the coast and the LNP have shown that they have no interest in helping this community get back on track.
"They delayed the Category D process for months and invented pathetic problems with paperwork before coming back and saying they would commit just $29 million.
"While Queensland has continued to do everything it can to get the project approved by the Commonwealth for NDRRA Category D funding, we needed to draw a line in the sand for the Whitsundays.
"Council has told us that this is a priority for the economic recovery of the Whitsundays and we are pleased to fund the remaining $2.65 million to make the Airlie Beach revitalisation project happen.
"This isn't action that we have taken lightly, the Palaszczuk Government has decided that this community deserves better. If the LNP won't step up and fund their fair share, then we will.”
Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Wilcox said the revitalisation of Airlie Beach would create a place of social gathering for the local community as well as a destination point for tourists.
"This project is really important for getting our community and our local economy back on track following Cyclone Debbie,” Cr Wilcox said.
"The Foreshore is well known for its beautiful bay and island views, the lagoon and as home to the Whitsunday Lions Markets.
"The upgraded Foreshore will act as a connecting area for tourists transitioning to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef, bringing with them improved economic opportunities for the local community.
"After so much uncertainty from the Federal Government about this funding I am very excited that this project is locked in and ready to go.
"I am very grateful to the Palaszczuk Government for standing up for the people of the Whitsundays in our time of need.”
Additional funding for the project of $2.83 million is being provided through the Palaszczuk Government's Building our Regions program and $850,000 is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State NDRRA Category D program.
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