State prepared to commit $4m for a healthy Gladstone harbour
THE Newman Government has announced it is prepared to commit $4 million over the next two years towards the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, providing industry matches their contribution.
The proposed government commitment involves $1 million in set-up costs, and then $1.5 million each year, over two years towards its operation.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said that commitment would only go ahead if industry matched the figure of $1.5 million per year in recurrent funding.
"We are ready to put up our money, but expect industry to pull its weight so this partnership can ensure the ongoing monitoring and improvement of the harbour and surrounding catchments," Mr Seeney said.
Mr Seeney was in Gladstone with Environment Minister Andrew Powell for a meeting of the Partnership.
It is not known how industry groups would split the cost, assuming they are willing to pay at all.
However, initial reactions yesterday suggested the big players could be willing to contribute.
A spokesman for LNG company QGC said it had a positive outlook on the proposal.
"Anything that consolidates and coordinates the estimated $100 million of industry and government research into Gladstone Harbour is welcome," he said.
"QGC welcomes the state government's initiative announced today and we are considering our role in the partnership."
A spokesperson for APLNG said the company was supportive of the concept.
Rio Tinto did not comment directly on the government's funding proposal, but said: "Rio Tinto Alcan will continue to be actively involved in the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership process."
Mr Powell said the Partnership had the potential to get everyone on the same page, including the council, government, industry and environmentalists.
"The partnership brings together a diverse range of organisations which are all working together to ensure the harbour's environment is protected, while also supporting the growth of this major port," he said.