THE FIRST stage of the Pacific Marine Base at the Port of Bundaberg has officially opened.

The project is developing previously unused shorefront at the port into a multipurpose facility.

It includes a hardstand area to support heavy industry activities, a ro-ro ramp and a dedicated commercial vessel wharf.

The federal government provided $5.7 million alongside $12.3 million from Pacific Marine Base Bundaberg towards the estimated $18 million project, developing unused shorefront into a multipurpose facility and laying the foundation for a dedicated marine industry site at the Port of Bundaberg.

The site was officially opened today by Treasurer Jim Chalmers, assistant minister for regional development Anthony Chisholm and Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey.

Mr Dempsey said: “I sincerely thank and offer our gratitude to the entire Pacific Tug team which had the vision to bring this project to the Port of Bundaberg and understood the potential of our area and the importance of supporting regional communities.

“The Pacific Marine Base represents a significant investment in the Port of Bundaberg which we believe will act as a catalyst for further development.

“The Pacific Marine Base is an unrivalled piece of infrastructure on Australia’s eastern seaboard which can leverage a range of industries.

Mr Chalmers said by investing in this site, the government is setting the Fraser Coast up for the future – generating more jobs and more investment in this community with big opportunities in the burgeoning marine maintenance and supply sector.

“Bundaberg already makes a big contribution to the national economy but with targeted and responsible investments in important projects like this one, we’ll help to ensure that Bundaberg reaps the benefits from the more prosperous and productive economy we’re creating,” he said.

Mr Chisholm said the new marine industry site will ensure the town can continue on its path toward becoming destination of choice for investment and trade.

“The specialised marine infrastructure that this project brings to the port will bring about a significant economic injection to Bundaberg, creating further job-growth opportunities for the whole region,” he said.

“This facility will also extend existing services and make the Bundaberg Port a more attractive proposition for businesses wanting to capitalise on Queensland’s growing marine, agricultural and tourism industries.”

“The project has potential to deliver a number of outcomes for the region in relation to renewables and connectivity between the South Pacific islands and Norfolk Island.”

Pacific Tug earlier this year said plans for the second stage of the Pacific Marine Base Bundaberg include lengthening the wharf to create a breakbulk shipping terminal with a large laydown area and access to major roads.