Queensland’s Mackay port is set for a A$17 million ($12 million) infrastructure boost, which will include a new tug berth facility, upgrades to Wharves 1 and 4, seawall repairs, and essential maintenance dredging.
Over the next 12 months, these projects will boost the regional economy and increase opportunities for attracting trade to the region, according to Mark Bailey, Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Main Roads.
“We’re all aboard when it comes to jobs and making sure our world-class exports can get from Mackay to the world,” Bailey said when announcing the Queensland Government’s investment in Mackay through its publicly-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) entity.
“Over the past two years, we’ve upgraded the Vines Creek bridges to improve access to Mackay’s port, we opened the Mackay Ring Road this weekend and now we’re turning our attention to building the Walkerston Bypass and, after that, the Mackay Port Access road,” he said.
“All of these projects are connected to ensure our primary industries are supported with a road network to help their product get from the paddock and pit to our port.”
He added: “Apart from more than 120 NQBP employees, our ports are a place of work for more than 1,000 Queenslanders and support a further 28,000 direct trade jobs involved in mining, farming and transporting trade.”
Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said the projects will strengthen Mackay port’s capabilities to handle diversified trade.
“The Port of Mackay is a place of work for about 360 people each day and is also critical to around 1,800 Queensland jobs in mining, agriculture and logistics and facilitates A$1.6 billion of trade worldwide,” Gilbert said.
“A tug berth facility inside the port and the wharf works will drive efficiency for trade and position the port to continue to grow – whether for new, breakbulk trade or existing commodities such as fuel, sugar and grain.”
NQBP Chief Executive Officer, Nicolas Fertin, said Mackay’s multi-commodity port continues to build momentum in growing and diversifying its trade, with the volumes in the past financial year the second-best on record.
“These works will further strengthen the port’s role as a key part of the Mackay economy and as a gateway to the central Queensland region,” Fertin said.
“The publicly owned multi-cargo import and export Port of Mackay is firmly established as a central hub for the movement of diverse cargo essential for central Queensland agricultural and mining industries.
“Additionally, we will be investing in upgrading the Hay Point administration building that houses Vessel Traffic Services.”
NQBP is a Queensland Government-owned corporation also responsible for the strategic ports of Abbot Point, Hay Point and Weipa in far north Queensland.