Pacific Tugs ‘full steam ahead’ despite delays

CEO of Pacific Tug Group Chris Peters and Transport Minister Mark Bailey have responded to comments made this morning by Hinkler MP Keith Pitt.

Mr Pitt appeared beside Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack at a media conference at Macadamias Australia, where he called on the Queensland Government to back the Pacific Tugs project at Bundaberg Port.

Mr Peters said Pacific Tugs was “full steam ahead” on its development at the Bundaberg Port.

“We have had a number of challenges and delays but have the continued support of local, state and federal bodies and are excited that Development Approval is expected in the very near future,” Mr Peters said.

“Our project has received wonderful support from local residents, Bundaberg Regional Council, Gladstone Ports Corporation, Queensland State Government and the Commonwealth Government.”

Mr Pitt said the federal government had extended $6 million in funding, previously committed, to make the Pacific Tugs project happen.

“We announced $6 million in funding with Bundaberg Regional Council for that project over two years ago in August 2017,” Mr Pitt said.

“That project, that contract, those individuals, that corporation has waited up until now for the state government to actually approve it. It is still not approved.

“As a result, I’ve had to go back to the federal government and ask for an extension on the funding from the federal government for that $6 million.

“Now fortunately, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department of Infrastructure and the Prime Minister have approved that extension.

“But that $6 million could have been driving jobs into our economy 18 months ago.

“So, I say again to Premier Palaszczuk: stop being the roadblock. You are blocking projects in our region for no known reason.”

Transport Minister Mark Bailey issued a response on behalf of the Premier.

Mr Bailey said the negative comments about the project made by Bundaberg LNP MPs hurts the regions economy and its port.

“Stephen Bennett was clearly pushing the LNP’s asset sales agenda this week when he criticised the port’s performance and now Nuclear Keith is puffing his chest up because the Deputy Prime Minister’s in town,” Mr Bailey said.

“Pacific Tugs has had to come out in support of Gladstone Ports Corporation to show the LNP is pushing pointless doom and gloom just for the sake of it.

“I’m advised Gladstone Ports Corporation is in the final stages of considering Pacific Tugs’ application.

“Recent agreements with STL and Australian Bauxite Limited demonstrate GPC has a strategic vision to grow investment and trade at Bundaberg’s port.

“The fact the port’s throughput has more than doubled in the past decade shows GPC is delivering on that vision.”