The Wide Bay tug boat
The Wide Bay tug boat Jim Alouat

$6 million to develop marine industry site at Port of Bundaberg

MORE than 100 new jobs will be created after the Federal Government chipped in $6 million to fund a marine industry site at the Port of Bundaberg.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the project to turn unused grassland at the Port of Bundaberg into a marine industry site had won funding through the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Fund.

"This project being undertaken by Pacific Tug and Bundaberg Regional Council will include a hard stand to support heavy industry activities, a roll-on, roll-off ramp and a commercial vessel wharf for the temporary berth of vessels at the site.

"This project will then pave the way for a further capital injection by Pacific Tug of $20 million to establish a Marine Industry Site at the Port of Bundaberg,” Mr Pitt said.

"The Marine Industry site will address a gap in Australia's marine service industry, by creating a hub where maintenance can be carried out, as well as the introduction of a freight cargo service for local produce to access markets in the Pacific Islands.”

Mr Pitt said the project would provide an immediate boost through 74.2 full-time equivalent construction jobs and a target of 110 full-time ongoing positions.

"I congratulate Pacific Tug and Bundaberg Regional Council and look forward to working with them to deliver benefits to the community of Bundaberg.”

Pacific Tug CEO Chris Peters said the grant would allow the development to be fast-tracked and deliver benefits of new jobs and skills for the region.

"We have worked in and around the Bundaberg region for more than 50 years, so the competitive advantages that Bundaberg offers are more obvious to us than others.

"Bundaberg is a natural deep-water port with ample land for many purposes including marine services, tourism and defence industry support,” Mr Peters said.

Pacific Tug established a permanent presence at the Port of Bundaberg three years ago, providing the Harbour Towage service for visiting ships.

"We have completed more than two years of planning and research in cooperation with Gladstone Port Corporation.

"This work has resulted in agreement to develop a marine industry precinct at the port, which will bring more than 100 new jobs to the area and highly skilled trades and professionals,” Mr Peters said.

Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash said she created the Building Better Regions Fund to help build strong communities for decades to come.

"I aim to help build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and projects like this one do exactly that,” Minister Nash said.

"After a competitive merit-based selection process, there are always those who were not successful and are naturally disappointed.

"We know this and we've got dedicated staff in the Department of Industry to give tailored feedback to each unsuccessful applicant to help improve those applications for next time.

"They can be contacted on bbrffeedback@industry.gov.au.”

Minister Nash said she expected to open another round of BBRF before the end of the year.



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