Sembawang: No Public Costs for Dredging (Australia)
The international company behind the proposed $4.9 billion cruise ship and integrated tourism, residential and casino proposal near Wavebreak Island in the Southport Broadwater says it can complete the required dredging to enable cruise ship access within four weeks.
President and CEO of Sembawang of Singapore – Global Project Underwriters Limited, Ric Grosvenor, said the company’s experience with projects such as the Jumeriah Island development in Dubai equipped it very well to do the dredging required in the Broadwater.
“This sort of thing is all very straight forward and day to day for us,” he said. “We would be able to do the necessary dredging of the main navigation channels in four weeks and after the initial capital dredging, with the sand being used to created the new island behind Wavebreak Island, we could then pump sand onto Main Beach which would spare the council further costs with replacement works.
“I want to reiterate that our proposal involves no financial contribution from the Gold Coast City Council, The Queensland State Government or the Federal Government either at the start, during construction or in the future.
“I would also like to reinforce the fact that all works, dredging and everything associated with our proposal will be undertaken under strict environmental guidelines and without detriment to the local environment.”
Sembawang has engaged the original engineer for the Gold Coast Seaway and the existing man made Wavebreak Island, Gary Lucas, as part of its team. Mr Grosvenor said Gary Lucas had looked at the logistics of the dredging and relocation of sand onto the beaches and he was satisfied with the hydraulics.
Mr Lucas, Principal – Maritime Leader Australasia for Arup Engineers said as part of the ongoing dredging maintenance of channels every one to two years the sand could be pumped onto the beach at Main Beach on an ongoing basis and it could also be used to replenish beaches on the western side of the Broadwater should that be necessary.
“There have been numbers bandied about in relation to the cost of dredging and we have our own estimates, but the key thing for people to understand is that we are going to pay these costs ourselves, there’s no financial burden on the community,” said Mr Grosvenor.
He said the news surrounding the State Government’s jobs cuts and the protests that those cuts have caused has not been beneficial in talking with international financiers about the Wavebreak proposal.
“Comparing Queensland to Spain and sending a message of financial disaster does not do a lot of good when those operating at an international level are considering where to deploy their capital,” he said.
“We recognize that the State has to get the Queensland house in order, but if you take a glass half full approach then Queensland is on a very solid economic footing indeed. That is certainly the message we are pushing.”
Mr Grosvenor said the Reserve Bank of Australia should move immediately to bring down the value of the Australian dollar by 30 percent by printing more money and using it for near zero interest rate long term loans to Queensland and the other State Governments for infrastructure investment.
“ The impact of this will be to bring all of Australia’s industry back into international contention and incubating thousands of new start ups which is where the majority of employment exists, being small to medium sized businesses.”
Press Release, September 19, 2012