Hinch­in­brook re­ju­ve­na­tion a vi­tal pri­or­ity

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THE State Gov­ern­ment should con­sider step­ping up and ask what it can do to help the new own­ers of Port Hinch­in­brook re­turn the for­mer lux­ury re­sort and ac­com­mo­da­tion com­plex to its jewel in the crown sta­tus.

The lights, lit­er­ally, are back on along the night- time streets of Port Hinch­in­brook. They had been off ever since Cy­clone Yasi tore the place apart on Fe­bru­ary 3, 2011.

The new own­ers have been busy. The res­tau­rant re­fur­bish­ment is al­most com­plete and the pool and ten­nis courts have been cleaned and ti­died.

Else­where the gar­dens, which in some cases had re­verted to scrub, have been pruned into sub­mis­sion.

The roads still need re­pair­ing and dredg­ing ar­range­ments still have to be worked out with the State Gov­ern­ment.

It is crit­i­cal the ma­rina be brought back into use with­out de­lay. It alone is the axis upon which Card­well’s for­tunes re­volve. Ev­ery­thing there is de­pen­dent on a safe, op­er­a­tional ma­rina.

The dredg­ing is­sue has been drag­ging on since 2009. It needs re­solv­ing, quickly. Pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ments have huffed and puffed, but now is the time to act.

A suc­cess­ful Port Hinch­in­brook won’t just ben­e­fit Card­well. While it is a pri­vate de­vel­op­ment, It will also be a shot in the arm for Cairns and Townsville and all towns in be­tween.

The orig­i­nal deal done with the port’s devel­oper, Keith Wil­liams, was flawed and needs re­work­ing. The Con­formed Deed which ex­isted be­tween Wil­liams, the State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments and the Cas­sowary Coast Re­gional Coun­cil was ig­nored by each of these par­ties.

Ul­ti­mately it was the res­i­dents of the port and the public who used its fa­cil­i­ties who were let down the most.

Let’s get Port Hinch­in­brook back on its feet. It is a great as­set, a piece of in­fra­struc­ture which can be used by ev­ery­one.

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