FILE PHOTO: Inter-Port Global has revealed its plans for Gladstone.
FILE PHOTO: Inter-Port Global has revealed its plans for Gladstone.

Industry veteran's ambitious $25b plan to transform city

A SYDNEY-based transport industry "veteran" has his sights set on transforming Gladstone's future with an ambitious $25 billion project.

Des Euen pitched his vision to a dozen people this week, which involves turning Gladstone into a global freight and container hub and connecting the Port City to the inland rail at Toowoomba.

The Inter-Port Global director estimated the proposed Gladstone State Development Area project would take 10 years to build, but would one day be capable of handling 8000 containers per year.

He said with Gladstone's location near Australia's primary trade shipping lane, the region was missing out on 75per cent of the import and export trade that travels to Brisbane.

"This development will create Australia's largest one-stop, fully-integrated port and industrial precinct," he said.

Mr Euen said the rail link would cut transportation time from seven days between Brisbane and Melbourne to 20 hours via rail from Gladstone to the southern states.

The 69-year-old said he had "put his heart and soul" into the project, which he is now asking approval for from the Queensland Government.

He has submitted two proposals to the State Government, a Market-Led proposal and a Public Private Partnership proposal.

Inter-Port Global chief executive Des Euen wants to turn Gladstone into a logistics hub.
Des Euen wants to turn Gladstone into a freight and logistics hub.

But Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said while the project could benefit the region, it would take "years" to progress through the approval stages.

"This is a long-term project," Mr Butcher said.

"Take the (Acciona) solar farm in the SDA, that is worth half a billion dollars and it'll take 18 months to two years to put solar panels on the ground."

The Gladstone Regional Council has written a letter of support to Inter-Port Global.

Speaking to the small crowd at Gladstone Events Centre on Tuesday, councillor Glenn Churchill reflected on public meetings of a similar size held in 2010 about the potential of a cruise industry in Gladstone.

"There were people there who said it would never happen," Cr Churchill said.

"I remember the meeting we had years later, we had a packed crowd and they wanted to know when and how it was going to happen.

"If and when (this project) happens, we look forward to the benefits it will bring the Gladstone region."

Mr Euen expects a response from the Queensland Government to his two proposals by Christmas.

Mr Euen has previously had controversial port and rail expansion plans at Yamba in NSW, which some local politicians labelled as "pie in the sky" ideas.