UP AND DOWN: Exports are down at the Port of Bundaberg, but up for owner Gladstone Ports Corporation overall.
UP AND DOWN: Exports are down at the Port of Bundaberg, but up for owner Gladstone Ports Corporation overall. Contributed

Bundy port stats don't jell with minister's figures

TRANSPORT Minister Mark Bailey said there has been a record trade year across three ports during the budget estimates, but statistics for the Port of Bundaberg do not necessarily reflect that claim.

"At Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg we have seen another record trade year with $124 million tonnes through those ports,” Mr Bailey said in the estimates.

The Gladstone Ports Corporation's Origin and Destination of Cargoes report showed a total growth across the three ports of 1.2 million tonnes and an increase of two vessels compared to the previous financial year.

However, the document's number of 121 million tonnes was less than Mr Bailey's figures.

There was 548,288 tonnes through 27 vessels at the Port of Bundaberg in the 2018-19 financial year, which was mostly bulk sugar exported to Japan, Indonesia, and the United States.

Other exports included silica sand and wood pellets sent to Japan.

The total amount declined by 17,359 tonnes when compared to the 2017-18 financial year, in which 28 vessels imported and exported a total 565,637 tonnes.

Across five financial years there had been growth at the Port of Bundaberg, but the tonnage peaked in 2016-17 when Bundaberg exported bulk sugar to six countries including the Republic of Korea.

In the past two years gypsum imports flowed through the port, and there had been some increase in the most recent financial year.

There had been 76,526 tonnes of gypsum through the port in 2018-19 while there had been 70,150 in 2017-18.

The other key import loaded at the port was molasses.

Gladstone Port Corporation's acting chief executive Craig Walker said the Port of Bundaberg's past financial year's tonnage was doubled compared to the 2012-13 financial year.

The port would double the number of exported wood pellets through a partnership with Atlus Renewables.

"We're proud to have achieved another record financial year for GPC with more than 124.8 million tonne of product handled across our three port precincts,” Mr Walker said.

State Member for Burnett, Stephen Bennett, said the movement of exports and imports has decreased at the port within the last three years.

"What remains concerning is the State Government's failure to support much needed and long overdue projects like urgent power upgrades and key infrastructure projects like the new proposed conveyor belt system at the port,” he said.

"These projects in most cases can be fully funded by the Federal Government if only the State Government would complete required applications instead of playing cheap political games with the Federal Hinkler Deal.

"Years of delays in approving Pacific Tugs marine infrastructure complex has left it languishing in no man's land.”