Family enjoying picnic on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday electorate. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland
Family enjoying picnic on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday electorate. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland

Glamping, koalas, pools: Whitsunday big election promises

WITH the Queensland election just one sleep away, Whitsunday candidates have been busy making their final pitches to undecided voters.

An analysis of their election promises show that candidates are targeting COVID-19 recovery, Northern Beaches infrastructure and tourism as the key battleground issues for the region.

Here is a list of the major funding pledges our pollies have made for Whitsunday:

Whitsunday Skyway Project

The Labor government has committed $1 million in matched funding towards the proposed tourism drawcard.

The $55 million proposed cable-car project would link the main street of Airlie Beach with a nearby unnamed 430-metre-high peak in the Conway Ranges.

Mental health support

Labor has pledged a $6 million boost to refurbish Mackay’s community mental health service and $5 million to upgrade Proserpine Hospital’s Acute Primary Care Clinic.

The upgrades were also flagged to support 31 local construction jobs across Mackay and the Whitsundays.

The commitment joins a raft of health promises from the Labor Government including $6 million to establish kidney dialysis services at Proserpine and Clermont and $2.7 million to plan for a major expansion of Mackay Base Hospital and redevelopments of the Bowen and Moranbah hospitals.

Northern Beaches hub

KAP candidate for Whitsunday Ciaron Paterson has thrown his support behind the Northern Beaches Community Hub project, pledging $15 million towards it.

Mackay Regional Council is seeking State Government funding of $15 million towards the $25 million facility.

Concept designs of a community hub in the Northern Beaches.
Concept designs of a community hub in the Northern Beaches.

Whitsunday glamping and sailing

Almost $4 million will be channelled into new sailing and glamping experiences in the Whitsundays if Labor secures a win at tomorrow’s poll.

The party has committed to a $40 million cash splash to protect the Great Barrier Reef and boost Queensland’s tourism and related industry.

Northern Beaches congestion

The LNP has promised to deliver a Northern Beaches transport plan if the party wins the election.

The blueprint would include strategies to ease bottlenecks, develop more bicycle and walking paths and review road access ways to Mackay’s Northern Beaches.

Labor candidate Angie Kelly has pledged to draw up plans to duplicate Mackay-Bucasia Rd if the party secures a victory tomorrow.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan’s NQ First party has also committed $50 million for a second Northern Beaches arterial road.

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Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has made plenty of funding promises.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has made plenty of funding promises.

Support for Proserpine

NQ First has pledged $750,000 to the Proserpine Golf Club and a further $1 million to boost the Proserpine museum.

The commitment to the golf club would help fund a major irrigation project to help keep the 18-hole course green throughout the dry season, while the museum cash would help volunteers continue their work.

Northern Beaches swimming pool

Amanda Camm has committed $2.9 million towards an aquatic facility and splashpads for the Northern Beaches if the LNP wins the election.

Meanwhile, Mr Costigan has pledged a whopping $30 million towards a similar project if his NQ First party secures the balance of power on October 31.

Reef protection plan

Whitsunday LNP candidate Amanda Camm announced a $2.8 million commitment to deliver a reef restoration coral gardening project if her party secures the balance of power.

The project was flagged as a priority in the Whitsunday Recovery Taskforce’s Whitsunday Region Priorities Plan for 2020.

Whitsunday LNP candidate Amanda Camm and shadow minister for environment and tourism David Crisafulli announced a $2.8 million commitment to deliver a reef restoration coral gardening project. Picture: Supplied
Whitsunday LNP candidate Amanda Camm and shadow minister for environment and tourism David Crisafulli announced a $2.8 million commitment to deliver a reef restoration coral gardening project. Picture: Supplied

Plan to save St Bees koalas

Jason Costigan has committed $3 million to set up a koala research station on St Bees Island if he wins the balance of power in the state election.

The North Queensland First leader said a parcel of state land in the national park should be converted into a research station for Central Queensland University scientists.

New emergency services complex

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has pledged $10 million to build a new emergency services complex at Mackay’s Northern Beaches.

The area is still without an ambulance or fire station, despite being home to almost 20,000 people.

Mountain biking potential

The LNP has made a $1.8 million election pledge for a major upgrade of the Conway Circuit mountain bike trail.

Under the Whitsunday Mountain Bike Trails Program, money would be spent on a track upgrade, signage and a shelter station.

Export distribution centre

Proserpine’s Whitsunday Coast Airport will boast a $10 million export distribution centre, if Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan is re-elected and NQ First secures the balance of power in state parliament.

Mr Costigan said the centre made perfect sense, given the massive growing capacity for fruit and vegetables in neighbouring communities to the north of Proserpine.

Bloomsbury roadside rest areas

Roadside rest areas will be constructed near Bloomsbury to boost road safety in the Mackay Whitsunday region, if Whitsunday MP and NQ First Leader Jason Costigan gets his way.

He has pledged $5 million to the areas, which would accommodate traffic coming towards Bloomsbury – from both the north and south.

Boost for TAFE

Whitsunday students could be given a new pathway into the growing aquaculture industry after Labor made a multi-million election pledge.

The ALP has committed to spending $2 million on a new aquaculture training facility at the Cannonvale TAFE campus if the party wins the election.

Labor candidate for Whitsunday Angie Kelly and Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham make an election promise of $2 million for a new aquaculture facility at the Cannonvale TAFE campus if Labor is elected.
Labor candidate for Whitsunday Angie Kelly and Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham make an election promise of $2 million for a new aquaculture facility at the Cannonvale TAFE campus if Labor is elected.

New Cannonvale Jetty

Mr Costigan has pledged $2.5 million to build a new Cannonvale Jetty, if he is re-elected and NQ First wins the balance of power at tomorrow’s election.

He said the funding would come from NQ First’s $1 billion Building the North program, financed by mining royalties.

Support for schools

ALP candidate Angie Kelly has pledged $1 million worth of upgrades across two Northern Beaches schools.

If the Palaszczuk Government is re-elected, Bucasia State School will receive $500,000 for a tuckshop upgrade and extension, while Eimeo Rd State School will get $500,000 to refurbish its amenities block.

Whitsunday MP and NQ First leader Jason Costigan has committed to invest $40 million in establishing a Blacks Beach State School, if his party secures the balance of power at the election.

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Lifeline extended to VMR

Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday has been thrown a lifeline of its own that would help it continue the crucial work and deliver a three-fold expansion to its facilities.

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander announced a $400,000 commitment to the VMR Whitsunday for upgrades and improvements, which hinges on the party securing the majority in tomorrow’s election.


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