Australia: Government Allocates Port of Bundaberg Dredging Funds
Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Mark Dreyfus QC, Queensland Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli and Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann announced that work will commence immediately to reopen the Port of Bundaberg to full-size ships.
Heavy silting after severe flooding in early 2013 has prevented full-sized ships from entering the Port of Bundaberg bulk sugar facility, forcing the sugar industry to rely on smaller, more costly ships to carry Queensland sugar to export markets.
“The sugar industry is a major employer in Queensland and a driver of economic growth in the region,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“This dredging will return the port to its deep water status and help the sugar industry, cane farmers, workers and communities return to normal after the devastating impacts of floods and severe storms.
“This is part of our positive plan to make sure our communities are strong, safe and able to prepare for the challenges ahead,” Mr Dreyfus said.
Queensland Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said the deal was vital to the whole region’s recovery.
“The first ship coming in to Bundaberg was just the first stage,” he said.
“To get the sugar industry open to full commercial trade, extra dredging was urgently needed.
“This is another step forward in the recovery of a region that has borne too much heartache,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“Queenslanders want to see assistance rolled out and work under way to rebuild their communities quickly and that’s what the Rudd Labor Government is doing,” Mr Neumann said.
“We’ve invested an unprecedented $10.7 billion to help Queensland recover and rebuild since 2009. It is estimated that Queensland will receive $1.6 billion in disaster assistance funding in 2013-14,” Mr Neumann said.
Funding for dredging is being made available through joint Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, in cooperation with the Queensland Government.
Press Release, July 24, 2013