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Townsville’s marine industries and recreational boaties are angling for a new home on the Ross River worth up to $150 million, the State Government announced today.

Coordinator-General Colin Jensen announced the Townsville Marine Precinct Project as a significant project for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required.

Mr Jensen said that the Port of Townsville was proposing to provide a dedicated marine precinct for commercial and recreational use at the mouth of the Ross River in the Port of Townsville.  

“This project incorporates public boat ramps, parking bays and a public recreation area plus offshore elements such as a breakwater and area for private moorings,” Mr Jensen said.

“A marine precinct concept at the mouth of the Ross River has been proposed in various forms since the mid 1970’s.

“The latest plan seeks to address the increasing demand of marine facilities in the region by providing a sheltered, dedicated precinct for marine dependant industries.

“The project had already been identified as a key infrastructure component of the Townsville City – Port Strategic plan released by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning in June 2007.

“The 34 hectare project could cost between $100 and $150 million dollars to construct and it will directly employ 150 people.

“Marine industries have long identified the lack of alternate sites for relocation as a major constraint on their ability to grow and service the region’s growing population. “

The proposal includes a new Benwell Road access point to address the issue of access.

“As part of the EIS a number of studies will need to be undertaken to assess the project’s effects on flora, fauna, water resources, air quality, noise, visual amenity and socio-economic factors in the study area,” Mr Jensen said.

“It’s important for the public to know that a significant project declaration is not an indication of approval or support for a project.

“Rather it signals the beginning of a rigorous assessment of the project’s impacts on the natural, social, economic, built and cultural environment.

“It also means the proponent will be able to access the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s project management and cross-government approvals process coordination.

“The first opportunity for the public to have their say will be when the draft terms of reference for the environmental impact statement are released in the near future,” Mr Jensen said.

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