Demolition works on the $22 million Shute Harbor restoration project in the Whitsundays will begin this month following the damage caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie, announced today the Queensland Government.
Funding for the harbor project is provided through the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, who has Commonwealth responsibility for disaster assistance, said that the Whitsundays was one of the worst hit regions when STC Debbie tore through Queensland communities, causing extensive damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.
“The Commonwealth and Queensland governments are supporting the recovery of the region by ensuring that vital community infrastructure, including Shute Harbor, can be restored,” Mr Taylor said.
“The NDRRA funding for Shute Harbor is part of a $96.2 million STC Debbie ‘exceptional circumstances’ package that was approved by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the NDRRA.”
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick added that the project would help to re-establish Shute Harbor’s commercial operations and future-proof the facility for future weather events.
“As the gateway for tourism in the Whitsundays, the restoration works to terminal buildings, jetties, pontoons and the protective seawall are not only vital for commercial industry but for providing visitors with a royal welcome, or send-off, from Airlie Beach,” Mr Dick said.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox commented that the funding would make a huge difference to a region still struggling in the wake of cyclone damage.
“The restoration works will bring this landmark facility back to full operation by mid-2019, and we are excited about exploring future development opportunities at the site once the facility is restored,” Mr Willcox said.
He added that following the demolition works, construction will start in September 2018 and will be finished early June 2019 to comply with the funding deadline.