Federal Government Priorities
Council has been active in lobbying for support for its priority projects. Council believes that these projects will create jobs and enable growth of Hinchinbrook Shire’s economic potential in agriculture, tourism, recreation and cultural platforms, supporting the Australian Government’s Agenda for Northern Australia – the gateway to global markets and prosperity of the North.
Dungeness Marine Access Improvement Project
Increase accessibility of Enterprise Channel at Dungeness in order to attain all-tide access and safe passage for boating vessels. Restricted tidal access constrains Council’s ability to develop tourism as an economic stimulus for the region, given the inability to operate commercial tourism from a tide book. Council request Federal Government funding to assist dredging and beach replenishment, including a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement at Dungeness to facilitate development of tourism in the area.
New Boat Ramp/Jetty Facilities at Forrest Beach
Marine access in Hinchinbrook Shire is limited to recreational purposes (tide dependent), with the exception of the Lucinda jetty, operated by Queensland Sugar Limited. There is also an inadequate ability to provide safe and efficient marine access for people and goods within the region, including access to Palm and Orpheus Islands and access for Maritime Safety Queensland vessels.
Council request Federal Government funding to undertake the business case, including comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement for the establishment of ramp and jetty facilities at Forrest Beach.
Heated Silo Storage Facilities
Due to the cyclical nature of world sugar pricing, alternate cropping industries must be established with a view to breaking the sugar cane monoculture and introducing complimentary cropping to counter yield decline through soil improvement. Identified constraints are lack of agronomy services to teach and instil knowledge and expertise in farmers; and lack of bulk storage facilities to improve transport efficiencies to market further south.
Council request Federal Government funding towards heated silo storage facilities for pulse rice and comparable grain production.
Bio Precincts – North Queensland Bio-Energy (NQBE) Project – Ingham
NQBE was incorporated by the growers to diversify the way they conduct their business and not only be sustainable into the future, but grow jobs and the economy. It is envisaged this will be the start of a bio precinct in Hinchinbrook Shire.
Council request the Federal Government provides financial assistance towards the NQBE Renewable Energy Facility, which is a shovel ready project.
Herbert River Weir Project
An in-stream weir facility within the Herbert River will seek to protect salt water intrusion of fresh water supplies, whilst increasing the opportunity for irrigated horticulture, complementary to sugar cane production, by availability of supplementary irrigation. In addition, it will also increase recreational opportunities for fishing, water sports and tourism adjacent to the township of Ingham.
Council request Federal Government funding towards a business case for establishment of an in-stream weir facility within the Herbert River.
Dungeness Boat Ramp Car Park Extension
Council request Federal Government funding towards the extension of the Dungeness Boat Ramp car park. This project value adds to recently completed pontoon upgrades at the Dungeness Boat Ramp and has the capability to triple current capacity by approximately 190 bays. The expansion hopes to reduce current vehicle congestion, as well as allowing for an increasing demand on boating facilities and future growth in the area.
Restoration of Financial Assistance Grants
Council requests the Federal Government restore Financial Assistance Grants to at least one (1) percent. This will assist Council to maintain assets and infrastructure, benefiting the local community through additional services and facilities.
Dutton Street Bridge Construction
During flood events north and south Ingham are divided by Palm Creek which prevents residents accessing emergency services, hospital and other critical care facilities and vice-versa. The construction of a bridge over Dutton Street will build community resilience during floods and mitigate future emergency service costings due to the need for additional resourcing.
Council requests the Federal Government provide funding for construction of a bridge over Dutton Street.
For further information the Federal Government Priorities document can be viewed on Council’s website News and Announcement page.
Hopefully in next week’s issue we will be able to advise of the Federal election candidate’s position in regards to Council’s priorities.
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COUNCIL CONNECTIONS - 8 MAY 2019