$800m marina project stalled
IN A CRUSHING blow to the Fraser Coast, plans for an $800 million redevelopment of Urangan Harbour have been shelved due to current economic conditions.
The State Government has pulled the rug out from under preferred joint venture developers Watpac and the Seymour Group, which said last August it would not walk away from the project.
Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Minister Tim Mulherin said the decision to put aside the redevelopment was not taken lightly.
He said existing economic conditions meant the proposed development was unlikely to deliver an outcome that met both the economic development objectives of the government and Watpac Seymour in terms of its scale, scope or timeframes.
In August last year, the Seymour Group revealed it had spent $30 million buying leases ahead of the planned redevelopment of more than 10 hectares of wharves, car parks, berths, tourist terminal and caravan park.
Seymour Group also admitted it had been losing $200,000 a year on the terminal itself for almost three years. The project was to have created 650 direct jobs and 480 indirect jobs during the five-to-seven year development phase, and to have included a $60 million exterior wall, 235 new marina berths, 200 dry storage spaces, 50 per cent more trailer parks and six boat ramps.
Mr Mulherin said the government remained committed to upgrading the recreational boating facilities at the harbour and funding had been allocated to install a T-shaped pontoon.
“Planning is under way for design and development of a pontoon to ensure safer access to trailer boats and improve the efficiency of access for boats to enter and leave the water.
“Our vision is to deliver an outcome that protects the natural values and which will improve the character of the harbour by providing a high level of amenity to visitors, key local stakeholders and the local community.
“I want to thank Watpac Seymour for its continued efforts and contribution throughout the process.”
Council disappointed at harbour decision
The Fraser Coast Regional Council is disappointed that the State Government has set aside plans to redevelop the Urangan Harbour.
Fraser Coast mayor Mick Kruger said the multi-million dollar project would have provided a much-needed boost for the region.
“While we are disappointed, council remains positive that the State Government will reconsider the project once the economy starts to move again.
“The region still needs the expanded harbour with more berths capable of taking larger pleasure craft and the other facilities that would have been provided by the redevelopment.
“While we wait, the State Government has committed to improving facilities for the boating and fishing fraternity using the harbour now.”