ADDITIONAL money and time will be allocated to the restoration of Shute Harbour after it sustained damage from Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

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

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

Minister for natural disaster David Littleproud said the damages and the challenging location meant restoration work would be more complex than first thought.

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

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

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in addition to 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,” Ms Palaszczuk 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 clear 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,”Ms Palaszczuk said.

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

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