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Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Page: 1803

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (09:39): Today I wish to talk about the Gladstone Transport, Logistics and Electro Trades Skills Centre at Gladstone State High School. We welcome the $3.4 million of federal funding to establish this trade centre. It will help to serve the training needs of industry in Gladstone now and into the future. The project will include construction of a large simulated warehouse, theory rooms, an electrotechnology workshop, staff resource space, amenities, an outdoor workshop, portable simulators and other equipment. It will deliver qualifications to address skills shortages in electrotechnology and transport and logistics. The local schools that will benefit include Gladstone State High School, Miriam Vale State School, Mount Larcom State School, Tannum Sands State High School and Toolooa State High School.

The port of Gladstone is a very busy port, and 10 per cent of Australian exports go through it. I can see it becoming even more of a hub for transport into the future. It already exports a lot of coal, aluminium products and grain, but there is big future for export of beef from the three meatworks in our area, at Rockhampton and Biloela, and there is also a possible future for live cattle exports into China and South-East Asia. I think there is a definite need in the area for expansion of our port facilities. There should be a facility that will help with the heavy lifting of products coming into Australia. At the moment, Gladstone does not have the infrastructure to unload heavy ships and it does not have the road infrastructure to transport the heavy equipment that comes in. You might have noticed that, in the construction of the three LNG plants on Curtis Island, a lot of the equipment brought in—some big, wide, heavy gear; modular type equipment—had to be barged up from places like Sydney. That would add to the expense. If we could have facilities in the Gladstone port to have this type of equipment unloaded in the Gladstone harbour and then transported to the rest of Queensland or even to New South Wales, it would be a great help. (Time expired)