Gladstone Ports Corporation has approved the development of a new marine industry site at the Port of Bundaberg.
The project could bring millions of dollars into the local economy each year, employing hundreds of people during construction and almost 100 people once fully developed.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Jackie Trad, said the deal would give Bundaberg a unique advantage when it came to competing in Queensland’s growing marine industries.
“From the Torres Strait down to the Gold Coast Broadwater, Queensland has world-class facilities for every type of vessel from ocean-going freighters to super yachts, but Bundaberg has two unparalleled advantages,” Ms Trad said.
“The Port of Bundaberg faces a much lower risk of cyclone activity than ports further north, and secondly it is the most northerly port outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“That gives the Port of Bundaberg and Pacific Tugs a real advantage when it comes to attracting heavy commercial and naval contracts for repair and maintenance.”
The marine industry facility has been supported by approvals from the owner of the Port of Bundaberg, Gladstone Ports Corporation, and by a $6 million grant from the Federal Government.
Minister for Transport, Mark Bailey, said the new marine facility would give the Port precinct area another avenue to grow new businesses that would support local jobs and skills development.
“The port is well positioned to capitalise on the Wide Bay Burnett region’s agricultural production, with fast-growing Asian economies expected to compete aggressively for Australian products in the coming decades,” Mr Bailey said.
“There is scope to develop more tourism through the Port of Bundaberg too.
“Having marine facilities extending existing services will make Bundaberg’s port a more attractive proposition for businesses wanting a part of those growing industries and trade opportunities.”
Pacific Tug Group CEO, Chris Peters, said the process to get the right proposal for the site was worth the wait.
“Getting to this point has not been without its challenges, but the continued support of local, state and federal bodies has given us the confidence to stay the course,” Mr Peters said.