Demolition works on the $22 million Shute Harbour restoration project in the Whitsundays will begin in March 2018, following damage caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie in 2017.  

Funding for the Shute Harbour project is provided through the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

QLD Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor, said the Whitsundays was one of the worst hit regions when STC Debbie tore through Queensland communities, causing extensive damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments are supporting the recovery of the region by ensuring that vital community infrastructure, including Shute Harbour, can be restored,” Mr Taylor said.

“The NDRRA funding for Shute Harbour is part of a $96.2 million STC Debbie ‘exceptional circumstances’ package that was approved by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments under the NDRRA.”

QLD Minister for State Development, Cameron Dick, said the project would help to re-establish Shute Harbour’s commercial operations and future-proof the facility for future weather events.

“While Queensland is no stranger to natural disasters, the damage caused to communities across the state during STC Debbie was catastrophic and in some circumstances, beyond repair,” Mr Dick said.

“As the gateway for tourism in the Whitsundays, the restoration works to terminal buildings, jetties, pontoons and the protective seawall are not only vital for commercial industry but for providing visitors with a royal welcome, or send-off, from Airlie Beach.

“This is an exciting milestone for the revitalisation of marine facilities at Shute Harbour and a great example of all levels of government working together to build resilience across Queensland communities.”

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor, Andrew Willcox, said the funding would make a huge difference to a region still struggling in the wake of cyclone damage.

“Shute Harbour has the potential to be both a major transit facility for industry and business, and an attractive recreation space for locals and visitors,” Mr Willcox said.

“The restoration works will bring this landmark facility back to full operation by mid-2019, and we are excited about exploring future development opportunities at the site once the facility is restored.”

Construction will start in September 2018 and will be finished early June 2019.

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