AN ENORMOUS injection of funding from the State Government has changed the course of the beloved Bowen Jetty.
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) and the Bowen Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, at the Bowen Wharf, on Tuesday, June 20.
Minister Bailey announced that $50m of funding, from the State Budget, would be put towards the wharf.
The Bowen Jetty is owned by North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), who currently use the Jetty and wharf for tugboat operations.
The Bowen Chamber of Commerce has been fighting hard to save the Jetty after NQBP moved its operations to Abbot Point.
Chamber chairman Bruce Hedditch said the funding announcement was a wonderful surprise.
“We didn’t see this coming; it was a wonderful surprise,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful injection of funding, we were all very concerned and we knew it was going to cost a fair bit of money. This has just relieved a lot of the pressure.
“We hope to be able to continue with all parties and get a result that’s going to help Bowen and help Bowen as a tourist centre.
“The jetty is almost as old as the township itself and, from advice we’ve got, if it’s looked after, it’ll last another 150 years.”
NQBP acting CEO Belinda Kenny said the funding would breathe new life into the Bowen Wharf.
“The commercial role of the 150-year-old Bowen Wharf has changed significantly over recent years, from its heyday as an export wharf for cattle and coal last century, the wharf today supports towage operations for the Abbot Point export terminal,” she said.
“What has not changed is its importance to the local community as a reminder of the region’s rich history and a modern-day magnet for everyone, from walkers to fishers and photographers.”
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall said she was elated that $50m has been allocated in the State Budget to future proof the Bowen Jetty.
“A huge thank you to the Queensland Government and Minister Mark Bailey for recognising the importance of the jetty to heritage, recreation and tourism in Bowen,” she said.
“Council looks forward to working with NQBP, who currently control and maintain the jetty, to explore a viable and sustainable solution going forward.
“This funding now gives all stakeholders the opportunity to further investigate options for the jetty.”