CANE PRODUCTION: Bingera Mill as seen from the Gin Gin road. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail
CANE PRODUCTION: Bingera Mill as seen from the Gin Gin road. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail Mike Knott

Big dream fizzles out

IT WAS the ambitious plan to deliver more than $1 billion worth of benefits to the Bundaberg region - but it all came to nothing.

In a 2005 submission to the House of Representatives standing committee on transport and regional services then Bundaberg Port Authority CEO Adam Johnston detailed the benefits of a Bundaberg Sugar project dubbed Bundaberg 2000+, or B2K.

The project was to drive increased economic growth in the Wide Bay Burnett region.

But eight years on the ambitious project has stalled, with nothing to show for it.

In his submission Mr Johnston said one aspect was the production of paper pulp using bagasse from the cane crushing.

About $120 million worth of paper pulp would be produced every year for export.

The project also envisaged the production of animal feed from pith extracted from bagasse.

Improved water storage with the supply directed to sugar cane production would drive increased productivity in sugar cane production would bring in an extra $20 million worth of sugar.

A gas pipeline was to be built along with bridge and rail access across the Burnett River to the Port of Bundaberg.

Container handling facilities for exports were to be built at the port.

Mr Johnston said one of the benefits of the B2K project would be about $1 billion of investment during the construction of all of the components.

The project would deliver about 300 jobs during construction and another 200 permanent jobs for plant operations.

"Multiplier effects are expected to magnify the direct economic benefit within the community by a factor of four times the value of production," Mr Johnston wrote.

"Improvement and integration of the road, rail shipping network would significantly leverage development of this calibre in the Wide Bay-Burnett region."



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