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Qld Government Announces $1.7 Million Dredging Package for Port of Karumba

Posted on June 30, 2016

By Chris Burns, The North West Star

THE State Government will spend $1.7 million so that the Port of Karumba can be dredged immediately.

Karumba Livestock Exports manager Dean Bradford said the funding announcement was “bloody good”.

The dredging will help the company increase the amount of locally sourced cattle it exports to countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam.

“We’ve done 50,000 in the last three years and we’re looking to expand.

“Our biggest hold-up from expanding was the (need for) dredging,” Mr Bradford said.

The port needed regular dredging because the silt of the Norman River settled at the mouth.

“We’re trying to find avenues to do something more long-term, we’re just looking into it,” Mr Bradford said.

He said the funding would not have come through without the support of State Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter.

Mr Katter said the Gulf faced a “crisis situation” if it was not dredged because of the loss of jobs and economic activity.

The dredging was necessary because otherwise there would be limited access for boats, he said.

Mining company MMG previously dredged the port, but its open cut zinc mine Century finished production last year. The product was shipped from the port.

MMG no longer dredged the channel which meant funding from the state government was a necessary alternative, Mr Katter said.

Minister for Main Roads and Ports Mark Bailey said the $1.7 million dredging package was a “one-off contribution”.

The state government recognised the importance of the port because it supported the Queensland economy through cattle, fishing and general cargo operations, Mr Bailey said.

He said the dredging will happen in July. The Port of Brisbane’s dredger, will be diverted from the Port of Weipa to take on the project.

“By ensuring the maintenance of the channel depth, we also ensure the continued life of these industries, as well as opening up new opportunities for bulk cargo operations,” he said.

Source: The North West Star

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