Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today said that justifications by the Department of Transport and Main Roads for the delay in commencement of work on the Mourilyan Harbour boat ramp, pontoon and breakwater are not satisfactory.

The Mourilyan Harbour project will include the construction of a new three-lane boat ramp, a 90m long protective breakwater, and a 60m long floating walkway-style pontoon positioned in the middle of the new ramp for public boating use – at an estimated total cost of $1.25 million.

“Funding for the project was announced by the Deputy Premier Paul Lucas in 2007 and an announcement was also made by the previous Member for Mulgrave that the ramp was due to be completed by December last year, but the project has still yet to commence,” Mr Pitt said.

“Advice from the Department is that due to the soft marine clay foundations in the harbour, specialist geotechnical advice was required for the design of the new ramp, pontoon and breakwater to ensure the structures’ long-term stability.

“However, geotechnical issues do not explain the length of time this has taken and this is frankly not good enough.”

Mr Pitt said that expressions of Interest for the works have been advertised and tenders close tomorrow (Wednesday, 29 July).

“Now that the tender process is near its conclusion, I will be keeping a very close eye on progress,” Mr Pitt said.

“I understand that once the submissions have been evaluated, a contractor will be engaged in early September 2009.

“The Department must exercise a degree of urgency to make this project happen as quickly as possible – certainly ahead of the expected completion date of December 2009.

“I want the people of Innisfail to rest assured that I will continue to keep the government accountable to ensure its meets its commitments to the region, because that is what I have been elected to do.”

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is funding the works from the 2009-10 Boating Infrastructure Capital and Maintenance Program and the former Ports Corporation of Queensland is contributing $500,000 towards the total project cost.