Minister Grace Grace with Leanne Donaldson, Jack Dempsey and State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.
Minister Grace Grace with Leanne Donaldson, Jack Dempsey and State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

Massive plan for Bundy port 'game changer' says mayor

A-6000 hectare industrial precinct has been created to turn the Port of Bundaberg into an economic growth hotspot for the Wide Bay.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today announced a new state development area around the Port of Bundaberg, including land near the port on the eastern side of the Burnett River as well as agricultural and rural land on the river's western side.

>> View a map of the proposal

"This will make Bundaberg an attractive destination for new and existing business and industry looking to expand and invest," Dr Lynham said.

"The Coordinator-General can provide business and industry in this area with a one-stop shop to speed up government approvals and really get industrial development moving around the port."

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the new state development area would build on the many economic success stories coming out of the Wide Bay Burnett.

"With the Bundaberg Gas Pipeline and the Knauf plasterboard plant, our city and our region are starting to roll economically," she said.

Bundaberg's state development area becomes one of 10 around the state, ranging from major public infrastructure sites, like Brisbane's Lady Cilento Hospital to industry hubs like the area around the Port of Gladstone. 

A map of the development area.
A map of the development area.

The decision follows technical investigations and public consultation last year.

Dr Lynham said the government expected an increase in minerals and bulk commodity trade through the port, including sugar, silica sands and wood pellets, as well as new industries wanting to be near existing operators like Knauf.

"Within the state development area, the Coordinator-General can make doing business simpler for investors, by doing up-front  detailed land-use and infrastructure planning, resolving any potential land use issues and coordinating government approvals, and gaining access to land if necessary," he said.

The next step is establishing a development scheme for the area to guide decisions about land use and planning controls.

Dr Lynham said this would involve public consultation starting later this year.

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the new State Development Area to be built around the Port of Bundaberg will be a 'game changer' for the region, ensuring more local jobs and business opportunities.

"The development of a State Development Area means that the port will be further developed to increase trade and throughput," Mayor Dempsey said.

"I'm delighted that the potential of our port will finally be realised. We have been working with all levels of government to promote greater use of the Bundaberg Port and today that hard work has paid off.

"The Bundaberg Region has so much to offer in terms of exports. We produce quality products that are in world demand. Currently, the port exports raw sugar, some molasses, wood pellets and silica sands but following today's announcement, there'll be the potential to export so much more.

"We're talking about increasing throughput from an average 254,000 tonnes a year to an estimated 1,000,000 tonnes a year.

"Today's news builds on a string of positive announcements and growing business confidence. Council's Open for Development initiative alone has stimulated building activity and generated about $165
million in local development.

"We are already reaping the benefits of the development of the Knauf plasterboard factory and soon we'll welcome the completion of the $19 million gas pipeline that will provide a direct source of energy to new industry at the port.

"I'm heartened by the rapid increase in infrastructure projects and major capital works being undertaken in the region. I thank the State and Federal Governments for their cooperation in working with Council to identify opportunities that can create real jobs and grow our local economy."

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