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October 15, 2020
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pledged to declare North Harbour a Priority Development Area (PDA) if re-elected to government.
The new commitment is a major breakthrough for the project and follows strong support from the Moreton Bay Regional Council and State Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting. It was announced after a visit to North Harbour this week.
In a statement, Ms Palaszczuk said the North Harbour Marina Precinct would help to stimulate the Queensland economy and drive recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have made it clear I do not want to see red tape get in the way of job creation in this state,” she said. “The Priority Development Area mechanism is designed to unlock ‘out of the box’ projects like this that have the potential to create significant economic and community benefits.”
Advocates for the North Harbour marina and recreational precinct strongly welcomed the Queensland Labor announcement that it would make a PDA declaration.
Mr Whiting said he wanted to see the development go ahead in his community and a PDA declaration would create that pathway forward with great potential to stimulate the local boating industry and support 7,000 jobs during construction.
North Harbour Project Director Bryan Finney acknowledged the support of Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery, Division 2 Councillor Mark Booth and Mr Whiting.
“This would be a huge milestone for the project and for the Moreton Bay region and we warmly welcome Queensland Labor’s commitment of support,” Mr Finney said.
“A PDA would pave the way for North Harbour to become a state-of-the art marine industry hub, attracting a significant portion of Australia’s $68 billion marine industry to the region and lending itself to a multitude of tourism and recreational opportunities.
“Besides a huge win for jobs, other exceptional benefits for the wider community would include opening up 12km of prime riverfront land for access and public enjoyment, including a vast new network of parkland and pathways.”
Trask Land Corporation Managing Director David Trask said: “We are excited to be at the forefront of an important new chapter in the region’s history.
“The North Harbour Marina Precinct is a vital project which will benefit this rapidly growing area for many generations to come. The timing of this announcement could not be better as it will also underpin our region’s post-COVID 19 recovery.”
Other key supporters of a PDA for North Harbour also welcomed the announcement by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Shane Newcombe, Chief Executive Officer of Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism, said: ”North Harbour will be a game changer for this region – and not just through the thousands of jobs it will create and billions of dollars it will pump into our economy.
“It also has the ability to create huge opportunity for tourism, new business and industry. With those come security, diversity and confidence for those living and working in the Moreton Bay region,” he said. “There can be no greater priority, particularly at this time.”
Boating Industry Association (Australia) spokesman Neil Patchett said North Harbour would help to satisfy a growing demand for marina berths and facilities.
“More storage and maintenance facilities are desperately needed to accommodate the State’s growing interest in boating and the increase in the number of registered vessels,’’ Mr Patchett said.
“There are extensive waiting lists on moorings in places such as the Gold Coast, so North Harbour is very welcome on that front as well as its potential to support industry jobs in everything from boatyard skills, apprentices and trades to boat hire and services.”