Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey has welcomed the State Government’s renewed commitment to the Port of Bundaberg State Development Area.
Mayor Dempsey said the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Transport Plan (RTP), released this month, “gives appropriate recognition” of the Port’s significance.
“The regional transport plan is a building block for future investment,” he said.
“There’s nothing concrete in the plan, but it’s an important statement of principles which acknowledges the Port of Bundaberg as critical transport infrastructure.”
The document states the Port of Bundaberg limits ship size to 190 metres length and 32-metre beam for berthing.
“In 2018-19 the Port of Bundaberg handled 27 vessels and is consequently at a berth utilisation of around 12 per cent, leaving considerable scope for additional vessel calls,” the RTP says.
“While the Bundaberg Region is currently an agricultural centre, its further growth as a major regional servicing centre will be assisted by the potential development of mineral deposits within the Wide Bay Burnett region and export opportunities through the Port of Bundaberg.”
Australian Bauxite Limited announced this week it will seek a mining lease application for its Binjour deposit between Gayndah and Mundubbera, shipping from the Port of Bundaberg.
“Independent modelling for the Port of Bundaberg suggests that productivity could increase from a base of 0.5 million tonnes per annum to over one million tonnes in the medium term with the opportunity to expand into bulk commodities in the future on the northern bank,” the RTP says.
“The development also provides opportunities to develop and diversify the industry base within Bundaberg.
“This may include support services for the agricultural industry, machinery and equipment management, specialised manufacturing and metal product manufacturing and fabrication.”
The plan notes that completion of the Bundaberg Port Gas Pipeline in 2017 will help attract new businesses to the developing hub.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Government was committed to building collaborative partnerships with all levels of government and stakeholders to responsibly plan for future transport system.
“The Wide Bay Burnett RTP provides a blueprint for the region's future transport system at the local level, guiding state and local government planning priorities over the next 15 years,” he said.
“The RTP sets out regional transport priorities and actions for developing the system in a way that supports regional goals for the community, economy and the environment.”
Mayor Dempsey said the State Government needs to follow through on its planning with actual investment.
“The regional transport plan provides a solid foundation for growth,” he said.
“The Government now needs to build or facilitate infrastructure that enables the recognised potential of the Port to be realised.”
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