As Queensland’s new trade strategy is rolling-out North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is ramping-up its pursuit of increased local trade, with an $11.64 million package of infrastructure improvements for the Port of Mackay.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the program of works includes a number of projects aimed at increasing the Port’s capability to attract new trade and larger vessels to the region, as well as improve safety, efficiency and flexibility.
“Coming soon to the Port of Mackay are upgrades to wharf fendering systems, roadworks improvements, removal of redundant marine infrastructure and installation of new lead lights for marine pilotage,” Mr Pitt said.
“The major component of the works includes upgrading the fendering system at Wharves Four and Five.
“This new capability, combined with the recently opened and federally accredited NSS quarantine wash down facility unlocks the potential for the Port of Mackay and sends a strong message to the world that Mackay is open for business.
“Investing in this type of infrastructure not only brings additional local trade and helps grow local jobs, it also supports the future growth of regional Queensland.”
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said this was a testament to the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment
“This is a vote of confidence in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region’s economy,” she said.
“The works are part of a $22.13 million capital expenditure budget for NQBP over 2016-17, providing jobs and opportunities for regional communities.”
NQBP CEO Steve Lewis said the new fendering system would be like a series of bumpers attached to wharves to absorb the kinetic energy of a berthing vessel and prevent damage to the vessel or the wharf.
“The new fenders have also been especially designed to allow for a growing market of ‘Roll On, Roll Off’ trade, also known as RoRo,” Mr Lewis said.
“RoRo trade can include mining or agricultural equipment, or any cargo on wheels.”
NSS general manager David King said the new wash bay has expanded the scope of the port and provides shippers with the capacity to cleanse imported cargo and meet biosecurity requirements in a controlled environment.
“As a regional Queensland business employing locally, our hope is that NSS’s facility and licencing arrangements will increase trade through the port and rejuvenate industry in this region,” Mr King said.