Questions raised over Whitehaven lookout funding
THE last thing the Whitsundays needs is more politicking.
However, Whitehaven Beach has become the latest political arena after Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles wrote to Dawson MP George Christensen and claimed the Federal Government’s $300,000 election commitment to the Southern Whitehaven Beach Lookout fell short.
“Preliminary estimates of total project costs are around $900,000, which equates to a $450,000 matching contribution required from each party,” Dr Miles wrote.
“I am writing to seek (Mr Christensen’s) clarification that your commitment will now be for $450,000 for the proposed new infrastructure at Whitehaven Beach.”
In answer, Mr Christensen said his commitment was always meant to fund 50% of the proposed walking trail, while the State Government would be required to come forward with $600,000 to complete the project.
“The advice I got during the election, which came through officers in Queensland (Parks and ) Wildlife is that $600,000 would upgrade a section (of the project),” he said.
“The reality is that National Park upgrades are the responsibility and cost of the State Government.”
Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Craig Turner said he was sick of the “bull***t”.
“My understanding is both state and federal governments had agreed on this and our expectation was this would be close to being announced,” he said.
“We are talking about something committed 17 months ago and we are still bouncing around hearing about who said what when.
“I want our elected officials to understand the importance of these projects and to do them.”