Bowen Wharf Project

North Queensland Bulk Ports is undertaking early planning for the Bowen Wharf Project.

About the Wharf

The 150-year-old Bowen Wharf is a valued asset for the Bowen community and visitors. It also plays a commercial role in accommodating the tugs that service the Port of Abbot Point. Constructed in the late 1860s, the wharf has been reconstructed and extended several times over the years and is nearing its end of life.

From February to August 2021 $3.6 million in works were carried out on the wharf which saw parts of the aged timber structure repaired or replaced. The repair works involved the replacement of the worst wooden components including 66 timber girders, 12 corbels, 132 beams, 550 square metres of bridge decking ply and more than half a kilometre of timber deck planks.

Aerial picture of the Bowen Wharf
Bowen Wharf Project early planning has begun.

Project summary

In June 2023, the Queensland Government allocated "$50 million for the replacement of North Queensland Bulk Ports’ Bowen Wharf, with the plans, designs and approvals subject to further consultation with stakeholders” as part of the 2023/24 Budget. The funding was made possible due to Queensland's coal royalties. With this significant funding, visitors and locals will benefit from a Jetty that will serve the generations of today and tomorrow.

NQBP engaged skilled Queensland engineers for a refurbishment study and a specialist quantity surveying firm to provide cost estimates. For a detailed overview, you can access the Bowen Wharf Refurbishment Study Summary and the Bowen Wharf Refurbishment Study. NQBP will be undertaking further studies and surveys to ensure an exhaustive understanding of the condition of the wharf and to explore options considering the significant funding contribution from the State.

To support a community-led design, NQBP has engaged the global sustainable development consultancy firm, Arup, to develop a draft concept, undertake stakeholder and community consultation, and deliver a finalised concept design.

NQBP Project Director, Nawar Spear, has also been appointed and brings a wealth of experience in developing, planning and delivering large infrastructure programs and major construction projects for Federal and State Government agencies.

Community engagement

During March 2024, we heard from all parts of the community including local residents, business operators, community groups, school students, elected representatives and tourism operators.

Engagement held was part of the Discover stage of the project. Feedback in this early stage of the process ensures that the design of the Bowen Jetty is guided by what is important to locals and the big ideas the community has for the future.

An image of the discover phase of engagement and what it means

Discovery phase engagement summary

How locals have had a say so far

Thank you to all in the Bowen community who have given input into the pre-design phase of the Bowen Wharf Project.

An image of different icons showing all the way people had their say

What we heard

In this Discover phase, you told us what you value about the jetty, how you like to use it, what improvements are needed and ideas for the future.

These eight key themes were consistently raised:

An image of icons showing amenities, history, accessibility, education, ecology, fishing, recreation and commercial

More about the engagement activities

Several engagement activities have been held with the community. They were informed about the activities through the local newspaper and magazine, social media, e-newsletters, website updates, community presentations and project briefings and meetings.

Download the summary of community engagement activities.

The winners of the Design your Dream Jetty Competition have been announced.

Around 100 Bowen youth designed their dream jetty as part of the art competition held by NQBP.

Check out all of the entries on the competition page.

The online survey was open for just over four weeks with 601 responses received.

Most respondents were local to Bowen and gave feedback about how the jetty is used, what is most valued about the jetty and ideas for the design.

Insights from this survey build upon the feedback from a previous community survey about the Bowen Jetty run by the Bowen Chamber of Commerce.

We met with the Kyburra Munda Yalga Board and other Juru Elders and walked the jetty together.

Emerging themes from our conversations during these visits include the protection and preservation of local marine life and further education of the Bowen and visiting community of Juru’s occupation of Bowen pre-settlement and their continued connection to Sea Country.

We are excited about the opportunity to strengthen the Juru story through the Bowen Wharf Project through ongoing conversations and engagement.

A workshop was held with 38 Bowen State High School students from years 7 through 12.

The two-hour workshop aimed to give a voice to Bowen’s young people about the future of the jetty and to give interested students hands-on experience with a real-world design project.

The project team held two workshops with 33 Bowen local community members, elected representatives, business representatives, tourism operators and community groups.

The EbD workshops provided insights and input from a representation of the broad Bowen community in the important pre-design phase.

These sessions helped define the place brief, align expectations, identify the right uses and facilities to incorporate into the design and better plan for current and future needs.

View the Enquiry by Design presentation.

An open information session was held at the Bowen PCYC.

Information presented at the Enquiry by Design workshops and feedback given to date was shared and discussed with the 13 members of the community who attended.

What happens now?

The project team is now considering all the feedback, prioritising what is important to locals and developing two design options to share with the community in June for feedback.

There will be more opportunities to provide your input and help refine a design that best meets local community needs.

Stay connected

If you have any questions or feedback you can reach out to us via email bowenwharf@nqbp.com.au.

You can also sign up below to receive the latest updates on the Bowen Wharf Project straight to your inbox.