Politicians say funding precedent has been set for dredging
POLITICIANS from various levels of government have called on the State Government to fork out funds for the Round Hill Creek dredging project.
Dredging is expected to cost $450,000 according to the Round Hill Creek Channel Options report prepared by BMT WBM Pty Ltd on behalf of Gladstone Regional Council.
Gladstone Region deputy mayor Chris Trevor said the State Government had the funds available to complete the project and used the recent example of a $5million dredging project that will deliver all-tide access at the Molongle Creek boat ramp in the Whitsunday Regional Council area.
The Molongle Creek dredging project was announced by Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey last month and is expected to be finished by late 2020.
"Molongle Creek is a perfect example, it sets a precedent and there's no reason why the Molongle Creek residents can get the funding and we can't," Cr Trevor said.
"We are in almost the exact same situation as them and if it was good enough for them, it's good enough for the community of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water."
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said examples of dredging projects could be found "a lot closer to home".
"We need the mayor, deputy mayor and every one of those councillors in that chamber to be reminding the State Government - who is the owner of Gladstone Ports Corporation - of the $1million they put into the Boyne River dredging before the last Boyne Tannum HookUp," Mr Bennett said.
"You don't have to go that far back to find that they can spend $1million for a fishing competition when they want to.
"The only reason this project will be delayed will be over petty politics and that's something no one will accept or deserve in that part of the world.
"There's plenty of examples where governments have found money when they want to and the Gladstone Ports Corporation is a government entity.
"The precedent has been set we just need the council to get active, lobby their side of politics and get on with the job."
A June statement from a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson described Round Hill Creek as a "complex area" consisting of "moving sandbanks within a conservation zone of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park".
"Even given approval by environmental agencies, we would expect dredging only to be effective for a short period of time resulting in costly maintenance works at unpredictable intervals due to weather, currents and storm wave action," they said.
"Our priority is always the safety of boaties, agency response staff, and marine rescue volunteers.
"For this reason, we have engaged closely with the Round Hill Volunteer Marine Rescue over the last three years."
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd was contact for comment but was unable to response by deadline.