Thursday, 3 September 2020

MPs call on Minister to stop delaying project at Port of Bundaberg

The Queensland State Labor Government is intentionally delaying a multi-million project at the Port of Bundaberg which would attract more investment and jobs to the region.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, State Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and State Member for Bundaberg David Batt are calling on Minister Mark Bailey to stop standing in the way of development.

As part of the Hinkler Regional Deal, in April 2019 the Federal Government committed $10 million towards a multi-use conveyor at the port.

Mr Pitt said the project had the potential to attract multiple businesses to the under-utilised port, but it needed to start as soon as possible.

“We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, our region is desperate for jobs and the Queensland State Labor Government is sitting on its hands,” he said.

“Even though this a 100 percent funded project, the State Government is still dragging its heels at the expense of the Bundaberg region and the jobs this project will create.”

Mr Pitt said Assistant Minister Marino wrote to Minister Bailey last month (July) inviting him to sign the Project Agreement for the project and has had no response.

“There have been ongoing negotiations for six months to get the Project Agreement ready for signing and this is yet another delay,” he said.

“We have no indication of when it will be signed and the State Government won’t even provide a copy of the business case to the Federal Government,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Bennett said he has been approached by businesses interested in establishing themselves at the Port of Bundaberg.

“However, with no firm indication of when the multi-use conveyor will be built, this uncertainty could mean these businesses start looking elsewhere. We can’t afford to lose new businesses or the associated jobs because the State Government wants to play politics,” he said.

“Clearly, Minister Bailey was just paying lip service to the region when he visited earlier this month and said he wanted to see the ‘port to continue to develop because that means jobs for the Bundaberg region’.”

“It was disingenuous of the Labor candidate for Bundaberg to say when visiting the Port with Minister Bailey it was the ‘Palaszczuk Government which was investing in infrastructure in the region and bringing jobs to Bundaberg’ when they are actively holding things up.”

Mr Batt said the Queensland State Labor Government should be doing everything in its power to attract and encourage more business to the region, not hamper it.

“Every single job we can attract to the Bundaberg region will improve opportunities for local residents and their families,” he said.

 

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and Member for Bundaberg David Batt launched a petition today calling on the State Labor Government to stop standing in the way of development, sign a Project Agreement at the port and support local investment.

To sign the petition, visit https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3410

 

 

TIMELINE:
February 2017                  

State Development Area at Port of Bundaberg declared by QLD State Labor Government.

 

August 2017                      

$6 million Pacific Tug marine industry precinct announced.

 

1 April 2019                       

$10 million for multi-use conveyor at Port of Bundaberg announced.

 

2 April 2019                       

Australian Bauxite Limited announces an MOU with the Port of Bundaberg is well advanced.

 

October 2019                    

Funding extension given to Pacific Tug project after waiting more than two years for approvals from QLD State Government.

 

29 January 2020               

Hinkler Regional Deal Implementation Plan signed.

 

June 2020                           

Six months of negotiations to get Project Agreement for conveyor project ready for signing.

 

July 2020                            

Assistant Minister Marino writes to Minister Bailey inviting Queensland to sign the Project Agreement.

 

Connect With Keith