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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10144

Mr ROBERT (Fadden) (16:47): It's great to report to the House that once again this government is continuing to work on behalf of the Gold Coast marine industry to ensure that industry grows, thrives and develops. A key part of that is ensuring we can get large boats to access the Gold Coast Marine Precinct, so it's great to see that the dredging of the Coomera River will commence in a few months time, after a multimillion dollar contract has been awarded to a Gold Coast based company, Synergy Resource Management, to build a new management facility, the Coomera Regional Dredged Sediment Management Facility, right in the heart of the thriving electorate of Fadden.

This $3 million facility is a significant project, the first of its kind for the Gold Coast multimillion dollar marine industry. It's situated on the Coomera River, where the Gold Coast Marine Precinct also sits. This precinct is one of the major marine industrial areas on the Gold Coast. It's dedicated to manufacturing, servicing and refits of recreational boats of all sizes and has lifts that can move boats of hundreds of tonnes. It's about 15 kilometres from Surfers Paradise, with direct water access to Moreton Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The M1 is only about a kilometre from the precinct and provides direct access to Brisbane. There are over 60 businesses there employing about 2,500 people.

As well as being a great provider of jobs on the northern Gold Coast, this new facility will help minimise potential environmental impacts by managing the fine, silty mud sediment found in the upper sections of the Coomera River which is not suitable for river bank or beach replenishment. All going well, it will be up and running by the end of the year. Once completed, it will dredge the Coomera River to a depth of 3.5 metres from Sanctuary Cove, the entrance to the estuary, through to the Gold Coast City Marina. This will help improve navigational access and make the place safer to navigate, and, importantly, it opens the area up for major yachts and vessels to get to the marine precinct, not just for victualing, but, more importantly, for refitting. Remember: a 240-foot superyacht spends as much money in any community where it arrives as a 200-person cruise ship. That is the economic impact from large vessels coming through, and we need to do everything we can to attract those large-spending vessels into Australia. The Kiwis are currently attracting them and that is not good enough; we can't let our friends in New Zealand have this sort of spending power. We need to encourage large vessels, especially to the Gold Coast, the area with the highest number of boat registrations in the country.

This builds on what this government has done in opening a customs facility at Southport, which will be trialled for 12 months. It will be great to see more and more of our waterways opened up to allow not just large vessels from overseas but everyday mums and dads in tinnies and pleasure cruisers alike to navigate and use the wonderful waterways of the northern Gold Coast. I look forward to the dredging of the Coomera River, I look forward to further dredging of the Broadwater and I look forward to working further with the citizens of Fadden.