Bick­er­ing con­tin­ues

Ques­tions raised over White­haven look­out fund­ing

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Jacob Wil­son jacob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

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.”

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