$11M FUNDING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT ANNOUNCED BY PREMIER

Premier Campbell Newman visited Bundaberg today and chose the factory floor of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to announce the State Government’s commitment to fully fund an $11M gas pipeline from Kensington (to the south-west of the City) to the Port of Bundaberg via the Ring Road and extended alignments.

I have to admit that at first glance it may not sound like the sexiest announcement however the significance of it can’t be understated. Indeed, this could well be one of the most significant projects to be undertaken in the battle to create regional jobs and a catalyst to stimulate the local economy.

Over many years Council has negotiated with potential manufacturers and other industries in an attempt to entice them to establish their facilities within the region. Unfortunately, one of the major stumbling blocks has been the lack of available gas supply. Even though a limited supply is available off the main trunk line running parallel to the coastline, it’s not sufficient to provide the quantity required by many major businesses and nor is the infrastructure available to deliver it close to their front door. The proposed route announced today has been specifically chosen to be as close as possible to existing and potential end-users of the gas.

Recognising this as a substantial impediment to future economic growth, the Council has, over the past twelve months or more, been involved in confidential discussions with the State Government in an attempt to secure the infrastructure and ‘lifeblood’ required by potential investors.  

It’s pleasing to see that with the support of local MPs Jack Dempsey & Steve Bennett together with some very proactive members of various State Government departments, the Deputy Premier and Premier were able to sign off on the total construction cost of the pipeline.

Another factor which needs to be acknowledged is that the project attracted the unanimous support of Councillors and wouldn’t have been so successfully without the incredible amount of work contributed by all General Managers and their Economic Development, Finance & Infrastructure teams.

To my mind, the cooperation between all stakeholders has been outstanding and the way that this project was managed has to represent best practice by anyone’s standard.

Council has issued the following Media Release regarding the announcement….

COUNCIL PUMPED ABOUT PIPELINE

“The announcement the people of the Bundaberg Region deserved to hear.”

That was the initial comment made by Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Mal Forman following today’s State Government $11 million Bundaberg gas pipeline announcement.

“Our region has copped plenty of setbacks in recent times but today’s welcome announcement by the Premier will certainly boost business and community confidence in the future of the region,” Cr Forman said.

“The State Government has delivered the ultimate vote of confidence in our region through this funding announcement which will see a gas pipeline constructed from the existing Wide Bay pipeline west of Bundaberg to the Bundaberg Port.

“This again delivers on the tremendous partnership and genuine good relationships that exist between the State Government, Council and our community.”

Cr Forman said it was fitting the announcement of the $11 million, 24.7km gas pipeline took place at Bundaberg Brewed Drinks which the Premier described as an “iconic Bundaberg, Queensland and Australian business”.

“The factory has had its development aspirations stymied to some degree because of the unavailability of commercial gas supplies. With this pipeline running virtually at its back door any expansion plans the company wishes to pursue can now become a reality.”

Cr Forman said the unavailability of the gas resource had impacted on the region’s ability to attract new industry.

“The pipeline is the driver to kick-start significant economic activity at the Bundaberg Port as well as supplying business and residential needs along its length.”

Council’s Economic Development portfolio spokesman Cr Greg Barnes said the project had been a tremendous example of collaboration between all stakeholders.

“The Council, State Government and business have all played a significant role in producing a fantastic outcome for the Bundaberg Region,” Cr Barnes said.

“We can all look forward to building on the momentum this announcement has created for our communities across the region.”

Work on the new pipeline is expected to commence early next year.

ENDS

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