Exclusive: Pacific Tug project finally gets go-ahead
BUNDABERG is set to be a significant competitor in Queensland's marine industry after a development was approved this week for a new site at the Port of Bundaberg.
Australian company Pacific Tug has been backed by Gladstone Ports - the owner of the Port of Bundaberg as well as the Federal Government with a $6 million grant to make this project viable.
It's been more than two years since the federal funding was first promised with recent pressure on the state to approve the project.
Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad said the port had a unique advantage.
"The Port of Bundaberg faces a much lower risk of cyclone activity than ports further north, and secondly it is the most northerly port outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park," Ms Trad said.
"From the Torres Strait down to the Gold Coast Broadwater, Queensland has world-class facilities for every type of vessel from ocean-going freighters to super yachts, but Bundaberg has two unparalleled advantages.
"That gives the Port of Bundaberg and Pacific Tug a real advantage when it comes to attracting heavy commercial and naval contracts for repair and maintenance."
The project was expected to have a positive affect on the local economy and employ hundreds of people during construction and almost 100 people when the port is fully developed.
Minister for Transport Mark Bailey said the new marine facility would give the Port precinct area another avenue to grow new businesses that would support local jobs and skills development.
"The port is well positioned to capitalise on the Wide Bay Burnett region's agricultural production, with fast-growing Asian economies expected to compete aggressively for Australian products in the coming decades," Mr Bailey said.
"There is scope to develop more tourism through the Port of Bundaberg too.
"Having marine facilities extending existing services will make Bundaberg's port a more attractive proposition for businesses wanting a part of those growing industries and trade opportunities."
Pacific Tug Group CEO Chris Peters said the process to get the right proposal for the site was worth the wait.
"Getting to this point has not been without its challenges, but the continued support of local, state and federal bodies has given us the confidence to stay the course," Mr Peters said.