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Rudd Government to keep the sugar flowing through Bundaberg



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THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management Special Minister of State Minister for the Public Service and Integrity

THE HON DAVID CRISAFULLI MP Queensland Community Recovery and Resilience Minister

THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Member for Blair

MEDIA RELEASE

24 July 2013

RUDD GOVERNMENT TO KEEP THE SUGAR FLOWING THROUGH BUNDABERG

Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Mark Dreyfus QC, Queensland Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli and Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General and Member for Blair Shayne Neumann today announced that work will commence immediately to reopen the Port of Bundaberg to full-size ships.

Heavy silting after severe flooding in early 2013 has prevented full-sized ships from entering the Port of Bundaberg bulk sugar facility, forcing the sugar industry to rely on smaller, more costly ships to carry Queensland sugar to export markets.

“The sugar industry is a major employer in Queensland and a driver of economic growth in the region,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“This dredging will return the port to its deep water status and help the sugar industry, cane farmers, workers and communities return to normal after the devastating impacts of floods and severe storms.

“This is part of our positive plan to make sure our communities are strong, safe and able to prepare for the challenges ahead,” Mr Dreyfus said.

Queensland Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said the deal was vital to the whole region’s recovery.

“The first ship coming in to Bundaberg was just the first stage,” he said.

“To get the sugar industry open to full commercial trade, extra dredging was urgently needed.

“This is another step forward in the recovery of a region that has borne too much heartache,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“Queenslanders want to see assistance rolled out and work under way to rebuild their communities quickly and that’s what the Rudd Labor Government is doing,” Mr Neumann said.

“We've invested an unprecedented $10.7 billion to help Queensland recover and rebuild since 2009. It is estimated that Queensland will receive $1.6 billion in disaster assistance funding in 2013-14,” Mr Neumann said.

Funding for dredging is being made available through joint Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, in cooperation with the Queensland Government.

Information on the range of assistance that is available across Queensland can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au

Media contact: Gia Metherell 0477 366 575; Annie Williams 0428 040 522 (Dreyfus) Monica Rostron 0409 126 332 (Crisafulli) Madonna Oliver 0477 757 791 (Neumann)