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Artificial reef for Mackay.

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Newsroom - John Anderson MP - The National Party of Australia Monday, October 22, 2001 Back

John Anderson Leader of the National Party - Deputy Prime Minister - Minister for Transport and Regional Services - Federal Member for Gwydir

Artificial Reef for Mackay 16th October 2001

Work on an Artificial Reef for Mackay will commence shortly following the announcement of a $304,150 grant by the Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, in Mackay today.

"This is a new tourism project that has been strongly supported by the Member for Dawson, De-Anne Kelly, who sought Federal Government assistance to strengthen the local economy," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson said that tourism had been identified in a regional report as a major economic driver in Mackay over the next 15 years.

Mr Anderson said the funding would provide for the creation of three artificial reefs within five kilometres of the Mackay coastline.

"One will for a fish sanctuary and will be used for diving, dive training and snorkelling activities, while the other two will be used for recreational fishing."

Mr Anderson said that Mrs Kelly had informed him that the reefs would be constructed from concrete pylons, which would be obtained from a wharf being demolished in Mackay Harbour.

"During the demolition of the wharf for recovery and storage of pylons, six full time jobs will be created and there would be five full time jobs for qualified salvage crew to transport the pylons."

He said that the economic analysis for a similar artificial reef project in South Australia showed that new jobs and new revenue could be produced.

Mr Anderson said it had the potential to attract more than 16,000 divers per annum, with more than half likely to be international tourists. This outcome would create an estimated 127 new jobs and provide for a $10 million increase in business turnover in Mackay.

Mr Anderson it was envisaged that the pilot project would be self-sufficient by the end of the funding period.

"I congratulate Mrs Kelly and the community for securing a new regional tourism and recreational experience for Mackay, and new opportunities for local businesses."