Additional funding for cyclone-damaged Whitsundays harbour

Published Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 at 05:13 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick


Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud

Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk

Shute Harbour will be restored with another $10 million committed to the project after it was delayed by technical issues.

Assistance is provided under Category D of the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

The Whitsunday Regional Council will also contribute $18.3 million for the restoration.

Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the damages and the challenging location meant restoration work would be more complex than first thought.

“This will restore the harbor to its former glory so it can bring in more tourists boosting the local economy,” Minister Littleproud said.

“While work is being done there will be jobs for tradies and business for local suppliers.

“The sea wall, buildings, pontoons and gangways were heavily damaged, so we’ll build a tougher harbour for the next time a cyclone hits.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in addition to the extra funding, Whitsunday Regional Council had been granted an extension of time to complete the complex project.

“Although works have already started, geotechnical investigations and subsequent modelling indicated the restoration of Shute Harbour was going to take a much bigger effort than first thought,” the Premier said.

“The completion date for works associated with STC Debbie funded under the NDRRA was 30 June 2019, however due to the geotechnical complexity of the Shute Harbour project, it was obvious more time was needed to complete the project.

“The project is incredibly complex as it is adjacent to delicate marine ecosystems in a challenging location with exposed coastal conditions.”

“The approval of the extension of time until 30 June 2021 will enable Council to carry out this vital yet complex project.”

Minister for State Development and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Cameron Dick said the agreement was critical to the prosperity of the community.

“I am pleased the Commonwealth agreed to our request for additional joint funding and more time for Council to deliver the restoration and resilience works.

“This is a great example of all three tiers of government working together for the people of the Whitsundays,” he said.

Member for Dawson George Christensen said Shute Harbour was one of the main gateways to the Whitsundays for both tourists and island workers.

“This project will improve the Harbour’s overall structural stability, making it more resilient against future weather events,” Mr Christensen said.

“It will also be a welcome boost to the local economy which has only just found its feet again in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.”

Member for Mackay and Assistant State Development Minister Julieanne Gilbert said the recovery and resilience works would strengthen not only the infrastructure but community spirit.

“Once completed, this project will no doubt help the local tourism industry get back on its feet,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“It will create more local jobs and provide a safe port for locals and tourists who visit this beautiful part of the world.”

The Shute Harbour restoration works are funded under Category D of the joint State and Commonwealth NDRRA and include:

  • Demolition of the damaged infrastructure
  • Reconstruction and raising the height of the seawall
  • Raising the level of the carpark
  • Construction of a new floating pontoon
  • Reconstruction of the terminal, fuel facility and other land-based facilities


Media contacts:

  • Robert Herrick 0432 324 576 (Minister Littleproud)
  • Lesley Major 0419 288 284 (Minister Dick)