Tag Archives: Julieanne Gilbert

Queensland port upgrade set to boost trade opportunities, politicians say

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.

Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence to open in July

The finishing touches are being applied to the new A$7 million ($4.8 million) Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence in Queensland, ahead of the official opening next month.

The centre, jointly funded by the Palaszczuk Government and Mackay Regional Council, is a strategic investment in job creation for the resources sector, and the region, according to the Queensland Government.

Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick, who inspected the facility today, said Queensland’s plan to recover from the global coronavirus pandemic puts traditional industries like the resources sector front and centre.

“Since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has facilitated more than A$20 billion of new investment in the resources sector.

“Making sure we have a skilled workforce to take advantage of these opportunities is an important part of Queensland’s road to recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.

“This Centre of Excellence will ensure that the Mackay region remains one of the world’s best sources for mining expertise and innovation in the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.

“Featuring a simulated underground coal mine for training and research, including emergency response, the centre will provide training and education, biomedical research, product innovation and demonstration and help to create the jobs and skills of the future.”

Originally announced back in 2018, the centre’s underground coal mine simulator will be available for testing, demonstrating and filming new equipment and products operating in confined spaces; will enable new emergency response procedures to be practiced and refined; and will allow tourists to experience what it is like working in an underground coal mine.

The centre will support three new full-time jobs in management and scientific research roles and, once operational, staff will begin to map actual test mine sites so that the simulator will be able to replicate physical conditions for testing to be carried out in real, or close-to-real, conditions, as opposed to laboratory-based conditions.

Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said construction of the centre had created around 22 direct and indirect jobs.

“Importantly, the centre will create enormous opportunities for local apprentices to further develop their skills, cementing the region as the hub for resources in Queensland.

“It will provide a hands-on training facility akin to a ‘living lab’ environment for industry training providers and private METS companies.”

Mackay Regional Council Mayor, Greg Williamson, said it was exciting that this innovative facility was about to be completed on budget and on time.

“Local construction company Fergus Builders have been hard at work on the construction of an administration building, workshop and laboratory, including landscaping and utilities and its fantastic to see this state-of-the-art facility come out of the ground,” he said.

“This project is a great example of council working together with state government and industry to deliver what will become a key landmark for Mackay as an international METS hub.

“We have the expertise of the Resource Industry Network to operate the centre and they will be actively showcasing the capabilities of the facility to international audiences at resource sector events and conferences when they recommence.”