$1.2 million jetty upgrade to help K’gari bounce back

The first major upgrade to the main jetty at Kingfisher Bay on K’gari (Fraser Island) since it was built in 1989 will improve access to the island for locals and boost employment and tourism opportunities, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

“This $1.2 million project is supported by a $466,450 grant from Round 5 of the Liberal and Nationals Government’s Building Better Regions Fund,” Mr O’Brien said.

“K’gari is one of Australia’s most pristine and precious natural gems, attracting more than 350,000 visitors every year, and this jetty upgrade is an important way of assisting the island’s residents, businesses and visitors as we rebuild from the many impacts of COVID-19.

“The jetty is the island’s main entry point and when completed it will improve accessibility to the island for locals and visitors as well as for emergency services in case of accidents and disasters.

“The work will also allow for the efficient continuity of movement of freight, food and goods for the island.

“The project will create about 15 jobs during construction, and work includes the replacement of pylons and part of the jetty structure,” Mr O’Brien said.

The $1.2 million project is being led by body corporate group Kingfisher Bay Villa Primary Thoroughfare GTP 5010.  Group Chairman David Hay welcomed the funding, which will also benefit the island’s 200 staff and residents.

“It’s amazing to receive this funding after the very difficult time we have had throughout COVID-19 and the bushfires, and we’re very grateful for Mr O’Brien’s support,” Mr Hay said.

“This upgrade will support commercial activity on the island, ensuring the ongoing viability of businesses here, and also ensuring ease of access for emergency services which is so important for public safety and to protect the natural environment on K’gari.”

Under Round 5 of the BBRF, the Government has committed almost $300 million to support 295 projects across regional Australia, which will create an estimated 9,900 jobs during the project period.

This latest funding round takes total support through the BBRF to $1.38 billion across nearly 1,300 projects.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Government is focused on ensuring our regions remain strong.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government is continuing to work hard on behalf of Australians living in regional and remote communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“That’s why we’ve committed an additional $100 million under this latest round to take total funding to almost $300 million. This extra funding will support more projects, more jobs and create more economic opportunities in our regions to boost their recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Funding for these projects in Wide Bay is a testament to the dedication of Llew O’Brien.

“Funding under the Building Better Regions Fund supports economic and social infrastructure for the long-term benefit of regional communities.

“Infrastructure upgrades funded in this latest round will ensure our regions remain great places to live and visit, while helping support important regional industries which create jobs,” Mr Joyce said.

“Our Government is committed to delivering the best outcomes for regional and remote Australia, which is why we are providing local businesses, industries and families with opportunities to get ahead.”