Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
For over 150 years, the Bowen Jetty has been a beacon on the community’s foreshore, a testament to the town’s marine and exports infrastructure.
Constructed in 1867, the Jetty stands at over 750 metres long, and has undergone two rounds of refurbishments, in 1880 and 1910, followed by repairs, funded by North Queensland Bulk Ports, in 2022.
Currently leased and used by North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), the Jetty acts as a resupply base for their tugs, that service the Abbot Point export wharf. However, with NQBP looking to relocate this operation to their Abbot Point terminal, the lease on the Jetty will come to a halt.
One stipulation with the NQBP lease is the demolition of the Jetty once its usage terminates, a stipulation which is causing great concern within the community.
Since 2016, the Bowen Chamber of Commerce have advocated for funding to restore the Jetty instead.
In the 2023 State Government budget, $50 million was allocated to future proof the asset, and the Chamber is now determined to ensure every cent is spent wisely, and with community consultation on the matter.
“NQBP has committed to work with the Bowen community by engaging in a community consultation process this year to lay out future options for rebuilding or repurposing the Jetty,” explained Tony Bale, Deputy Chairman of the Bowen Chamber.
“Before this process starts, it is important that we all understand whether the community is in favour of completely demolishing the Jetty and replacing it with something else, or preserving the existing structure and finding new ways that the community can make good use of the Jetty.”
The Bowen Chamber of Commerce and the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre has partnered together to promote a community survey, to gather the true thoughts and expectations of Bowen residents.
“The survey is intended to gather community thoughts about the future of the Jetty, as a means of guiding NQBP’s consultation process,” Mr Bale explained.
Jenn Honnery, Chair of Bowen Tourism and Business endorses the community survey and encourages Bowen residents to submit their thoughts.
“Visitors to Bowen love the town’s mix of secluded beaches, country hospitality and rich history. At the centre of our town is the Bowen Jetty, offering both a glimpse into the past and a wonderful walk to explore local marine life and bay views.”
“I congratulate the team behind Save the Bowen Jetty on their work to ensure the Bowen Jetty remains an integral part of our town into the future,” Ms Honnery explained.
“The Survey is the perfect opportunity for locals to voice their opinions on how that future takes shape and provide meaningful feedback for stakeholders to safeguard our town’s history.”
Scan the QR Code to submit your thoughts on how best to move forward with the Bowen Jetty and get your chance to win a $100 voucher for the Grand View Hotel.
The Bowen Jetty in 1921
The Bowen Jetty as it now stands. Photos supplied