Port Alma to get $2M in infrastructure including boat ramps
KATTER’S Australian Party candidate for Rockhampton Christian Shepherd has made an election promise to benefit Port Alma in a nod to his family’s long historical connection to the area.
Continuing both his and his party’s commitment to recreation and industry in regional Queensland, Mr Shepherd has announced the party would commit $2 million towards carparks, road access and construction for two new boat ramps near Port Alma.
“Due to the close proximity of the Port Alma boat ramp to the freight wharf, two new boat ramps are being proposed to facilitate recreational boating and professional fishing in the Port Alma area,” Mr Shepherd said.
“Not only will we have one ramp each in Inkerman and Casuarina Creeks, but these ramps will be very well sheltered in comparison to the Port Alma ramp.”
Mr Shepherd said this announcement would continue to build on the significant momentum the Rockhampton region was gathering to be known as a tourism and recreational fishing hotspot.
“(This) will no doubt only serve to bolster our region’s reputation as a fishing mecca,” he said.
“Central Queensland has a lot of hard yards ahead to build up our economy, but it can’t be all work and no play.
“Katter’s Australian Party is the fun party and while we will ensure that with our representation the local economy goes from strength to strength, it just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have fun doing it.”
The KAP candidate said Port Alma had a prominent role in Rockhampton’s long, rich history.
“My great grandfather Ted was born in 1894 and married his wife Annie in 1925. Ted went to Port Alma in 1926 and maintained the wharf until the early 1970s,” he said.
“This was an invaluable duty, particularly through the second world war when the port was a vital support asset, sending beef from Central Queensland overseas to Australian and allied troops, as well as a departure outlet for Australian and American troops shipping out to Papua New Guinea.
“My great-grandmother Annie gave birth to my grandfather Patrick on the 9th of May 1934 at Port Alma, delivered by her husband Ted. This is presumably the only birth ever recorded at Port Alma.”
He said Ted, Annie and their family of five children started going to Curtis Island for day trips and fell in love with the island, in particular the locality of Sea Hill.
“Pat, my grandfather, worked at the pilot station on Curtis Island in the 60s, which was responsible for guiding ships through Keppel Bay, either into Port Alma or up the Fitzroy River,” he said.
Mr Shepherd said the station closed in 1964.
“In 1971 Patrick acquired the lease on an old marine department shed at Sea Hill and his sister Claire bought a nearby house. My family has had a strong connection with Port Alma and Sea Hill ever since,” he said.
“I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to commit to this project which is an integral part of the Rockhampton region. Port Alma is rich with history and remains culturally, industrially and recreationally significant to local residents.”