Keeping Bundaberg Port open for business
Major works are underway to get the Port of Bundaberg fully up and running following the devastating floods of January 2013.
In Bundaberg today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced that required rock wall works will be underwritten by the Australian and Queensland Governments via Natural Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements.
“The port was largely shut off by the flooding, hitting local industry hard,” Mr Truss said.
“It is imperative we get the port fully operational again so that we can get the local economy back up on its feet quickly.
“While it is anticipated that insurers will meet a significant part of rock wall repairs, today’s announcement of government funding for the project will give contractors the certainty they need to get on with fixing the wall faster.
“A viable and efficient port is vital for this region, supporting local cane growers, jobs and the local economy.
“The sugar industry is a major component of the regional economy in the Wide Bay Burnett generating around $230 million a year for the region, while supporting some 600 cane farmers and 800 direct local jobs.
“The floods caused major silting at the port, which closed it to commercial shipping and damaged the rock training wall used to reduce silting from normal river flows and protect local infrastructure from high seas.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said shipping access to the port is integral for the local and Australian sugar industry.
“Recovery from devastating natural disasters is a long-term proposition, and getting facilities like the port fully operational again is a priority,” Mr Pitt said.
“I am delighted the Deputy Prime Minister is here today to make this announcement to give our community and businesses the surety that these vital works will be done… and done just as quickly as possible.”
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennet said work on the rock training walls was the next step in rehabilitating the port following the completion of dredging works in December 2013.
“The $4.9 million dredging works, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments, restored the Port of Bundaberg to its pre-flood depth of over eight metres from a post-flood low of just 3.3 metres,” he said.
“When the repairs to the northern rock wall are complete it will direct the river flow to assist the channel to self-clean and maintain depth, keeping the port open for business all year round.
“With both governments working together on disaster restoration and recovery we are well on the way to revitalising Queensland.”
Australian and Queensland Government Natural Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements are supporting $11.2 billion in reconstruction projects across the state stemming from disaster events between 2010 and 2013.
For Mr Truss: Brett Heffernan 0467 650 020
For Mr Pitt: Larine Statham 0427 653 814
For Mr Bennett: Stephen Bennett 0448 523 235