DIS­AS­TER FUND­ING FIGHT

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Camp­belle Gel­lie

THE Deputy Pre­mier of Queens­land is “gutted” for the dis­as­ter-af­fected com­mu­ni­ties of Whit­sun­day, Mackay, Isaac and Rock­hamp­ton af­ter the Fed­eral Govern­ment failed to stump up its share of a $220mil­lion re­cov­ery pack­age on Fri­day.

Un­der Cat­e­gory D dis­as­ter re­lief, the State had made a case for $110mil­lion from the Fed­eral Govern­ment but their con­tri­bu­tion will only be $29mil­lion, which Jackie Trad’s of­fice cal­cu­lates is about 0.006% of the en­tire Fed­eral Bud­get.

For the Whit­sun­days it means there won’t be money for the Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port up­grade, Air­lie Beach Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion, or Shute Har­bour.

At 5pm Fri­day Ms Trad was told that the Cat­e­gory D dis­as­ter re­lief pack­age would be $58.6mil­lion – its tim­ing she be­lieves was to en­sure the is­sue didn’t gen­er­ate much at­ten­tion.

“This is a kick in the guts for those com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Christensen, whose govern­ment signed off on the fund­ing, was also “gutted” at the size of the kitty.

But he has pledged to sup­port the Whit­sun­day and Mackay may­ors.

“I want to go down there to Can­berra with the may­ors and try and sal­vage the fund­ing for wor­thy projects that didn’t meet the test­ing here.”

PHOTO: LIAM KID­STON

There is no fund­ing for Shute Har­bour, pic­tured here af­ter the cy­clone, in the fed­eral dis­as­ter fund­ing.

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