Pacific Tug commercial manager Darryl Savage with MP Keith Pitt and Mayor Jack Dempsey in 2017. Picture: Jim Alouat
Pacific Tug commercial manager Darryl Savage with MP Keith Pitt and Mayor Jack Dempsey in 2017. Picture: Jim Alouat

Bundy Port: Pacific Tug approval expected in weeks

PACIFIC Tug's application for its marine industry site is expected to soon be approved after a two year development process with Gladstone Ports Corporation.

However, Burnett MP Stephen Bennett was concerned that the delay and the costs to the company was not a good look for potential investors and may impact future development.

He wrote a letter to GPC's board, criticising it for the lack of development at the port.

"Heads need to roll, basically, over this absolutely disgraceful performance in approving this project," Mr Bennett said to the News Mail.

He understood Pacific Tug's approval was not in the original scope of its intention for a ship lifting and maintenance facility, and he feared it may look to a northern port as an alternative.

Pacific Tug's Bundaberg project manager Darryl Savage acknowledged that the project had experienced many delays.

But despite this the company remained committed to Bundaberg as a location for its infrastructure.

"We are not considering another location," he said.

"We are hopeful that final approvals and agreements will be secured in the very near future."

And in a statement supplied by Gladstone Ports Corporation, Pacific Tug's chief executive Chris Peters said the development approval was close to finalisation.

"We're working extremely closely with GPC to confirm the conditions of the development approval and we anticipate this will be finalised in the coming weeks," Mr Peters said.

A GPC spokeswoman said the lease arrangements were expected to be completed within weeks.

"GPC remains confident the Port of Bundaberg will continue to go from strength to strength and is committed to exploring new opportunities for the port moving forward.

"The news is good for the Bundaberg region in terms of jobs, economic growth and international trade, with GPC focused on facilitating prosperity for others that trade through the port," the spokeswoman said.

Late last month GPC released its 12 page Port of Bundaberg Draft Precinct Outlook, which showcased its vision for the next 50 years, presented recently at a trade development meeting.

GPC's spokeswoman said the report intended on capitalising on the "next wave of globalisation".

To do so, GPC would need to create the right infrastructure, opportunities and connections which would consider future domestic and international trends.

Two years ago the $35 million project was expected to create 100 full-time jobs, and was given $6m in federal funding.

Hinkler Federal Member Keith Pitt also criticised the length of the application process, and blamed it on the state government, which was the owner of the GPC.

He urged the State Government to complete the approval with "some urgency".

"This project was announced more than two years ago but is being continually held up by the incompetent Palaszczuk Government," Mr Pitt said.

"The Federal Government remains committed to this project which will bring more local jobs and opportunities to the region. "

Mr Bennett was concerned that delays could place doubt on the availability of federal funding, and he understood that the process and consultancy process cost Pacific Tug about $2m.

Mr Bennett said that the application delays would not be the fault of Pacific Tug, given the experience it had has a company.

"I understand that there are still conditions that GPC is putting on Pacific Tug that are seen as perverse and outside what would be normal practice," he said.

"These people, Pacific Tug, do this stuff every day."