THE Queensland government has unveiled its latest capital program for the port of Mackay with $17m in infrastructure projects over the next 12 months.

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

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 1800 Queensland jobs in mining, agriculture and logistics and facilitates $1.6bn of trade worldwide,” Mrs 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.”

Mrs 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 ro-ro facilities.

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NQBP CEO 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.

“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.

“The tenders for these projects will be advertised on Q-Tenders and we will be looking to utilise the great local contractors and suppliers that we have in the Mackay region as much as possible,” Mr Fertin said.

The investment in Wharf 1 will improve infrastructure capability to handle extra-long (85m to 95m) cargoes to attract new trade opportunities and diversify. The construction works will involve extension of Wharf 1 access bridge to enable trade of longer breakbulk material, for example rail projects.

Upgrade of the Wharf 4 Eastern access deck to a custom steel deck will increase its width and capacity to accommodate over mass ro-ro cargoes.

Essential maintenance dredging is planned for up to 14 days at the Port of Mackay in late September/early October 2020.

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