Pacific Tug commercial manager Darryl Savage with MP Keith Pitt and Mayor Jack Dempsey.
Pacific Tug commercial manager Darryl Savage with MP Keith Pitt and Mayor Jack Dempsey. Jim Alouat

Why investing in our port made sense for Pacific Tug

LOCATION and a can-do attitude made Pacific Tug's decision to invest in a multi-million-dollar marine industry site at the Bundaberg Port an easy one.

The $35 million project will see Pacific Tug develop and operate the site, which once completed will create 100 full-time jobs, such as auto mechanics and diesel fitters.

The facility will house heavy equipment including a crane capable of lifting navy vessels, opening opportunities for the port to attract naval contracts.

The site will also be developed to attract other marine industry businesses.

Speaking at yesterday's Bundy 4 Breakfast, the company's commercial manager Darryl Savage said when people outside the region asked "why Bundaberg?”, he could give a long list of reasons.

"The first is location. It is the most northerly port in Australia that's outside the cyclone zone, so as far as investment goes that reduces risk,” he said.

"It also happens to be the most northerly port that is outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

"From a commercial perspective there are constraints around operating inside the marine park, as there should be, and Bundaberg is just outside that particular zone.”

Mr Savage said while the location was ideal, it was the attitude of Bundaberg Regional Council and Gladstone Port Corporation that sealed the deal.

"When we approached them with our ideas and how we might do it, rather than the crossed-arms approach ... it really was an attitude of 'what can we do to help?',” he said.

"For us that was a critical point in actually deciding to go ahead with them.”

Mr Savage said that willingness to help was evident when the council backed Pacific Tug's grant application for federal funding for the project.

"The outcome of that ... we were successful in securing a $6 million grant,” he said.

"It's allowed us to compress that investment, to accelerate the construction so all of the jobs, new skills and development come online sooner.”

Construction is set to begin, and a large percentage of the project is expected to be completed in the next two years.

The Bundaberg project is a return to the region for the family behind Pacific Tug.

Pacific Tug was founded by Monto-born and raised man Con Peters in 1965.

"Later in life he moved down to Brisbane and his parents started a fish and chip shop and that's how he started a connection with fishing and they purchased one fishing boat called the Tempest,” Mr Savage said.

"Today the company is owned by Con's three sons, Chris, Sam and Robert.”

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