The Queensland government has been forced to step in and plug a hole in funding which has seen a sewerage treatment plant in the state's north start leaking effluent into the local harbour.
The government has provided Cassowary Coast Regional Council $200,000 to undertake emergency maintenance and repair work on the Hinchinbrook Harbour sewerage treatment plant.
The plant is part of the Port Hinchinbrook Marina and Resort, which has sat in disrepair since encountering financial trouble in the Global Financial Crisis, before being hit by Cyclone Yasi, seeing the marina fill with mud and the resort left in the hands of administrators.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the funding was a short-term solution, but called on the owners of the plant to put a long-term management plan in place.
“The State Government will continue to work with council, the community and the liquidator to put in place more sustainable arrangements to address issues at Hinchinbrook Harbour for the long term,” Mr Dick said in a statement.
“In the long term, owners at Hinchinbrook Harbour will also need to fairly contribute to the costs of local infrastructure where appropriate, just like any other community in Queensland.”
Cassowary Coast Mayor John Kremastos welcomed the funding, and said they would commence the repair work in the next few weeks.
“Council has the technical skills to manage the treatment plant and has already been forced to undertake emergency repairs to the sewerage treatment plant on a few occasions to avoid discharge,” Mr Kremastos said.
Two different administrators are engaged in a legal battle for the development area, which has also seen property prices tumble.