Bowen Collinsville Enterprise

Chairman’s Report 2021

3rd December 2021


Re: Chairman Report for AGM December 2021

Yet another year has passed and this is now my 5th Chairman’s report after agreeing to the chairman’s role over for a 2-year period.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all BCE members for your input and a special thanks to Stephen Darwen for undertaking the role of secretary. Also to John Finlay as role of Treasure and Kyle stepping into the role of vice chair. Also, a big thanks to Ashley Darwen for assisting with our BCE Breakfasts.


I would also like to thank the Whitsunday Regional Council for their ongoing support and assisting with funding to cover our expenses for the year. I also acknowledge our strong support from our Mayor Andrew Willock and councillor Michelle Wright who always find time to attend our BCE meetings and are active supporters of BCE.


On a local front BCE have been working on the following projects.


Urannah Water Scheme


The Urannah Water Scheme has continued to move forward. Bowen River Utilities are the lead project managers and it is great to see the progress they have made during the year.

A full presentation has been sent to all members from BRU, however the highlights of what has been achieved is as per below.


  • Strategic Business Case, Completed Preliminary Business Case (PBC) and Detailed Business Case (DBC) completed by PWC and BDO; submitted to Government in March 2021
  • Each part of SBC, PBC and DBC all needed additional information
  • EIS underway with GHD, draft EIS to be submitted May 2022
  • Informal community consultation ongoing with official consultation to commence when draft EIS is released
  • Broad ranging support from local community
  • Opened project office in Bowen
  • Almost 70 team members including consultants
  • Capital raising underway
  • All land access secured for EIS
  • Constructive relationship with UPA and Traditional Owner groups
  • Listed on Infrastructure Australia priority list
  • Support from all levels of Government, both major political parties and minor parties
  • Partnership agreement with major water infrastructure company including commitment for capital


The federal Government have also committed a further $12.65 M to complete EIS and geotechnical work which is underway now. The project should be ready to put a shovel in the ground in 2023.



Bowen Harbour

BCE have continued to work with the WRC and TMR to focus on improvements in the Bowen Harbour. To ensure we are all on the same page, BCE have developed a 2 page summary after consultation with all stakeholders. It is broken into priorities now and future opportunities.


 Priorities Now


  1. Wave Action – resulting from previous work by TMR.

Further wave action study and stakeholder engagement

to understand the issues and identify a solution.


$20,000 to complete study

$400,000 to implement a solution

  1. Piles – impacts of removal and lack of maintenance.


Commitment from TMR to repair or replace pile

moorings with a vision to ensure there is always

sufficient available to entice boat owners to

moor their vessels permanently in Bowen, cater

for the seasonal prawn trawler and line fishing

fleets for their unloading and layovers, and the

cruising sailing and motor yachts that frequent

the Whitsunday region.

  1. Lease Arrangements – short term leases causing



Review leases on their individual business

needs without following a blanket model

which potentially restricts development, sales,

community opportunities, and the confidence for

operators to expand.

  1. Land Links – creating an attractive area that

links to the CBD and encourages interaction

between locations.


$520,000 to complete cleaning and greening work

and path connection to join the harbour to the CBD.

  1. Lack of vision and promotion


TMR to engage with stakeholder’s including

Tourism Whitsundays, Bowen Tourism and BCE

to develop a vision and implement a marketing

plan to attract and increase visitation numbers.


Future Opportunities


Planning now for growth to capture new commercial and tourism marine

sector opportunity and ensure sustainability for existing industry based

in the Bowen Harbour. Two key areas for focus have been identified for

support and investigation.

  1. Tugs to Stay – the current wharf has a 5-year life span and the retention

of the Tug Service in Bowen is considered crucial. Tugs are currently

operating from Bowen, but without the necessary infrastructure the town is

at risk of losing this service offer to other ports.

  1. Bowen Harbour Service & Maintenance Centre – a project under

investigation by Whitsunday Regional Council identified as the “Bowen

Marine Centre of Excellence” with the vision to develop capacity to

service vessels including the Superyacht sector. The scope includes

the establishment of a world class marina and shipyard, state-of-heart

common and single user infrastructure, facilities for servicing and

maintaining boats from the smallest to the largest vessels and a sector

specific training component.


Bowen CBD Subcommittee


BCE Set up a small sub-committee to discuss opportunities for Bowen CBD to advance. While no major projects were undertaken from this subcommittee, the discussion and ideas generated kept the CBD in front of mind and since the concept, the CBD seems to be busier with less vacant shops. We will continue to monitor and support where we can.


Bowen Child Care Issues

Our state member asked us to coordinate a meeting with child care stakeholder as there is a real issue with lack of child care in Bowen. We were able to connect providers with TAFE and discussed options of getting fast tracking training to increase the number of accredited staff in the region.



BCE Breakfast

BCE have organised and run three breakfast forums this year with a range of presenters. These are still being well supported and we will continue to run next year with the first breakfast to be held in late February or early March.


Thanks again to all our members and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy new year






Paul McLaughlin


Bowen Collinsville Enterprise

Bowen Collinsville Enterprise