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It's okay Bundy, Gladstone can take care of LNG

BUNDABERG has been eyeing off Gladstone's LNG projects for opportunities, but our leaders say Gladstone is ideally placed to service the Curtis Island needs.

Touring Gladstone on Monday, Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said regions surrounding Gladstone needed to invest in skills and training to support the city as liquefied gas exports come online.

He told media on the day that Bundaberg was ideally placed to take overflow work from Gladstone.

"We have Gladstone-based companies now working out of Bundaberg. I think we can expand that," Mr Bennett said.

"We have cheaper options.

"Our labour force is cheaper; our land is cheaper, so there's no reason why we can't provide manufacturing and engineering support to the Gladstone area."

Gladstone deputy mayor Matt Burnett said while in the short term Bundaberg might have lower costs, Gladstone was ideally placed to service its local industry.

"Why would you want to be two-and-a-half hours away?" he said.

Cr Burnett said industrial precincts including Callemondah and Red Rover Rd's estates had seen major growth in the past few years.

Gladstone Engineering Alliance general manager Carli Hobbs agreed that location was an important part in business, as well as skills.

"Mr Bennett is most likely correct that land and labour are cheaper, however the skills and quality of work may not be," she said.

"I could also guarantee Mr Bennett that if Bundaberg experienced an estimated $70 billion of construction, they too would see a hike in labour costs and land prices, and experience the social issues we have.

"However, while those costs may be 'less', businesses also need to consider the cost of transportation and logistics if they are to supply to the Gladstone region."

She said Gladstone had some extremely skilled companies, particularly in the engineering field.

"A handful of Gladstone companies are tendering on suitable (LNG) operations work, while many are in discussions with those who will predominantly be the tier one companies," she said.

Topics:  bundaberg, gladstone, industry, lng, matt burnett




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