The Federal Coalition Government has been called out over dragging the chain on a $1.5 million commitment to dredging Cardwell’s One Mile Creek.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council may be subjected to a lengthy grant application process to access funding to dredge the waterway.
Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said that local residents had every right to be furious after the Coalition formally announced $1.5 million to dredge One Mile Creek in October – without mentioning council, the proponent of the project, may have to undergo a formal application process to access the funding.
“The people of Cardwell believed the money was already in the bank and are asking the big question, “when will the dredging start”? Unfortunately, for everyone involved, it may take over six months for council to be successful in unlocking the required grant funding if the Federal Government fails to fast-track this project,” Mr Dametto said.
“After years of lobbying by locals to get this project started and my own efforts to ensure the government followed through on their election promise for funding, we have the potential to be bogged down in departmental procedure.
“We had a team of LNP representatives waving around a fake cheque in October which has mislead people into believing that they had delivered the money. I’m giving the government one last chance stop playing political football with Port Hinchinbrook. I’m calling for this funding to be fast tracked now.”
Mr Dametto added that he was not aware of the Coalition at any stage mentioning to the public that council would have to undergo an additional approval process before the dredging funds would be released.