by Jeni Bone
Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman has pledged $120 million for marine infrastructure if he is elected Premier.
Image: Frank and Dixon
The LNP has committed to the massive funding package to build more boat ramps, artificial reefs, fishing pontoons and deepen channels over the next four years.
Newman made the announcement today on the Gold Coast's Broadwater, adding that the plan would include establishing a local water authority funded to the tune of $30 million will and with the authority to look after waters from southern Moreton Bay to the border as well as maintaining the dredging of the Broadwater.
Any dredging spoil could be dumped offshore or used in the construction industry, he explained.
'There won't be any environmental studies before the dredging starts,' he said, referring to recent and existing studies for maintenance and development work on The Spit.
'We will invest in a $120 million Marine Infrastructure Fund over four years to improve access to our marine environment. This Marine Infrastructure Fund will invest $50 million in small marine infrastructure such as boat ramps and fishing pontoons for our recreational fishers and boaters.
'The rest will be invested into key access improvements at Trinity Inlet in Cairns and the Gold Coast Broadwater as the LNP understands the importance of getting the basics right.'
Newman said Queensland's 750,000 recreational fishers and boaties are passionate about 'the simple pleasures of life' and deserve to have their natural assets and facilities maintained.
'The LNP understands fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Queensland and we’re committed to giving all fishers and boaties a better deal,' he said.
'Unlike Labor, the LNP will consult widely and continuously with Queenslanders to ensure their views are heard and acted on. We will work with fishing and boating groups and responsible environmental advocates to achieve common sense and value-for-money outcomes.'
Newman said fishing and marine recreation had suffered under the tired, 20-year Labor Government which had been more focussed on green spin than on practical action to provide infrastructure to protect the marine environment while allowing Queenslanders to enjoy fishing and boating in coastal waters.
'Only an LNP Government will consult widely, plan properly and deliver the right infrastructure to allow Queenslander to enjoy our coastal waterways.'