GLADSTONE Ports Corporation has committed to ensuring the Gladstone Seafarers Centre remains afloat, pledging $480,000 to the centre to get it back on its feet.
GPC is to provide $80,000 a year until 2023 for the essential renovations, thus ensuring the future of an important service for the estimated 60,000 international seafarers who visit the port each year.
GPC acting CEO Craig Walker said the service was a vital support network for seafarers.
“As the gateway to the Central Queensland region, we have seen exponential growth over the past decade, this means more ships and more seafarers requiring the support of our local seafarer’s centre,” Mr Walker said.
“As an integral part of our port, we are so proud to be able to provide support to the centre which is majority run by volunteers.
“From floors to walls, paint, roof and furniture – after 25 years it will be great to see the centre get a facelift.”
Gladstone Seafarers Centre general manager Jessica Mullhall said the centre provided a huge amount of support to the seafarers who mostly came from third-world countries and spent long time periods away from home.
“We bring the seafarers from the vessels to our Recreation Centre in the Gladstone Marina where they can buy their basic needs and groceries,” Ms Mullhall said.
“We have free services including Wi-Fi facilities which allow the seafarers to contact their families, buses to transport them safely to and from their vessels and other activities like table tennis, movies and pool.
“During 2019 Gladstone Seafarers Centre reached out to the local community and has since provided their vehicles and man power to several other organisations who haven’t been as lucky with their resources.”
Ms Mulhall said thanks to the support of organisations such as GPC, they would now be able to continue this arrangement long into the future.
“We are so grateful for the support provided to us by GPC, it will enable us to help hundreds of thousands of people,” Ms Mulhall said.
GPC is committed to facilitating prosperity for the communities in which they operate, and looks forward to working with the centre well into the future.