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Local contractors sought for Port of Mackay upgrade works

A $130 billion wage subsidy, called JobKeeper, will provide a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight for around six million workers through their employers to keep people in jobs.

A $17 million program of works is set to improve the Port of Mackay’s infrastructure over the next 12 months, with tenders aiming to utilise local contractors and suppliers.

Projects include construction of a new tug berth facility, upgrades to Wharves 1 and 4, seawall repairs and essential maintenance dredging.

Works will involve placement of 15,000 tonnes of rock material sourced from local quarries to form a new revetment.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government is turning its attention to building the Walkerston Bypass and, after that, the Mackay Port Access road.

“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,” Bailey said.

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“The Palaszczuk Government, through our publicly-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), has approved a $17 million package of works that will boost the regional economy and increase opportunities for attracting trade to the region.

“Queenslanders have rallied together to manage the health impacts of COVID-19. Because of their effort we can get on with Queensland’s plan for economic recovery and jobs. That includes backing our publicly-owned ports.”

“Apart from more than 120 North Queensland Bulk Port employees, our ports are a place of work for more than 1000 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 $1.6B 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.”

Gilbert said the planned works build on a range of recent improvements including the construction of laydown areas, installation of accredited quarantine facilities, the building of a new access road (Gudyara Road) and the creation of dedicated RoRo facilities.

“Our ports, like the whole region, have been working hard to deal with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, and we will continue to progress trade opportunities for regional growth,” she said.

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.

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