The State Government has defended its decision to build a $240,000 pipe at the Port of Bundaberg to discharge molasses from tankers because ex-HMAS Tobruk now blocks the molasses wharf.
The State Government has defended its decision to build a $240,000 pipe at the Port of Bundaberg to discharge molasses from tankers because ex-HMAS Tobruk now blocks the molasses wharf. Trevor Walden

Govt accused of covering up Port of Bundaberg bungle

THE State Government has defended its decision to build a $240,000 pipe at the Port of Bundaberg to discharge molasses from tankers because ex-HMAS Tobruk now blocks the molasses wharf.

But Burnett MP Stephen Bennett has accused the government of another port cover-up.

He argues this is further evidence it has bungled the ex-HMAS Tobruk project after last month saying the government had dredged the wrong area for ex-HMAS Tobruk at a cost of more than $330,000.

Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO Peter O'Sullivan confirmed a pipe has been built from the Bulk Sugar Terminal wharf to connect to existing pipe infrastructure at the Bulk Liquids Wharf, where ex-HMAS Tobruk is currently located.

National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles insists the $243,833 pipe is part of future infrastructure upgrade options brought forward to help accommodate ex-HMAS Tobruk.

Like the dredging, Dr Miles said the pipe had always been considered for future planning and would remain at the port even after ex-HMAS Tobruk was relocated, benefiting the port and its users at no additional cost.

"Stephen Bennett should explain to the community why he is opposed to investing in the Port of Bundaberg,” Dr Miles said.

"After years of inaction under the previous LNP government, of which Stephen Bennett was a part, the Palaszczuk Government in investing in the Port, supporting jobs and economic growth.”

"The scuttling of ex-HMAS Tobruk has already provided jobs to Bundaberg locals and improved infrastructure at the Port and will ultimately boost tourism in the Wide Bay.”

Mr Bennett said this was part of an ongoing complete mismanagement of the port by the government.

"Questions must be raised as to why the Labor Government is being so secretive,” Mr Bennett said.

"Why the cover-ups?”

"It is no wonder the local member is silent on this issue, considering she never wanted to be involved in the project until there was a ribbon to cut.”

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the only plan Mr Bennett had for the port was to sell it off.

"Under the Palaszczuk Government the Port of Bundaberg is entering a new era with the $70M Knauf project recently completing their first shipment of gypsum, adding to Sunstate Sand's silica sand export business and the Altus Renewables wood pellet export business,” Ms Donaldson said.



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