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Federal Government funds Artificial Reefs off Mackay

John Anderson

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Leader of the National Party

A16/Budget

14th May 2002

The Federal Government will spend $304,150 in 2002-03 to build three artificial reefs off the coast of Mackay, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, confirmed today.

"The decision delivers on a commitment I announced during the election campaign," Mr Anderson said.

"The Member for Dawson, De-Anne Kelly, has championed the project, which will create new marine habitats for diving, recreational fishing, aquaculture, and marine studies.

"One reef will be a fish sanctuary for diving, dive training, and snorkelling. The other two will be open for recreational fishing.

"The project will directly employ eleven people in the short term to build the reefs. It has considerable potential to create jobs and generate tourism. An economic analysis of a similar project interstate shows it attracted as many as 16,000 divers per year, with the creation of 127 new jobs in total.

"The artificial reef project is a great initiative, and the Government is pleased to be able to work in partnership with Mackay community to make it a reality. It is strongly supported by the Mackay community, including the Port Authority, the Tourism and Development Bureau, and Mackay City Council," Mr Anderson said.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680