Bundaberg Regional Council has urged Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) to encourage developments in bio-energy and defence at the Port of Bundaberg.
Council has previously identified the potential for a naval presence at the port and wants GPC to consider this in its future planning.
“Defence infrastructure requires a long-term vision,” Mayor Jack Dempsey said.
“Due to its proximity to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and being outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the Port of Bundaberg is an ideal location for defence infrastructure, especially if tensions escalate in the Pacific.”
Mayor Dempsey said as per GPCs 50-year vision, berthing facilities should also be promoted on the western side of the Burnett River.
A new land use plan is developed every eight years to regulate and manage strategic port land.
The plan identifies land to be used for port and industry development; and provides a framework for GPC to assess and approve development.
Public consultation on the draft plan closed today (7 August).
Council’s submission calls for a strong focus on defence industry attraction.
“In 2012, Bundaberg Regional Council and GPC established the technical feasibility for the Port of Bundaberg to accommodate a future naval base,” the document says.
“Council has an advocacy priority that seeks to attract defence-related investment and jobs to Bundaberg Port and the Bundaberg State Development Area.
“As such, Council believes that the draft land use plan should facilitate future potential development of defence-related facilities and infrastructure at the Port of Bundaberg.”
Council’s submission notes the draft plan identifies that renewable energy is an inconsistent development use in most port industry precincts with some exceptions.
“The Bundaberg Region offers strategic advantages to capitalise upon the growing bio-futures sector in Queensland with an abundant supply of bio-waste resources,” the submission says.
“Council has identified multiple bio-energy proponents that would benefit from location within the land use plan boundaries.
“As such, Council believes that the draft land use plan should support renewable energy facilities for bio-energy in appropriate locations where there is benefit from its proximity to the Port of Bundaberg including export services.”
Council has asked that GPC review its land use plan to ensure it’s a more positive enabler of longer-term economic growth for the broader Wide Bay Burnett region.