WHO WINS: Which harbour would you rather have your boat in? (Left, Gladstone, right Bundaberg).
WHO WINS: Which harbour would you rather have your boat in? (Left, Gladstone, right Bundaberg). Sarah Barnham

Bundy leader calls Gladstone a 'one trick town'

WHEN it comes to sibling rivalry Gladstone and Bundaberg usually play fair because Gladstone is arguably the far superior place to be.

But in an effort to spruik what Bundaberg has to offer, the rum town's mayor Jack Dempsey fired off a cheeky pot shot at Gladstone, saying he did not want Bundaberg "to be a Gladstone or a one-trick tourism town".

Cr Dempsey was speaking to the Courier-Mail as part of its #GoQld campaign, which aims to shed light on how tough regional Queenslanders are doing, for the paper's large readership in south-east Queensland.

But as for the jibe directed at Gladstone, mayor Matt Burnett laughed off the suggestion Gladstone was a one-trick town.

"There is a reason why P&O chooses to dock in Gladstone ... we are the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and (as far as P&O was concerned) we are the centre of the universe," Cr Burnett said.

"We have some of the greatest coral in the world and we have a port and harbour that Bundaberg could only dream of.

"You might as well call the port of Bundy a creek...all they can hope for is that passengers from our cruise ships visit."

Cr Burnett said he would take his good mate Cr Dempsey's comments as a "friendly dig" and, to take the high road, even complimented Bundaberg on one thing it unequivocally does well, rum.

"Realistically all they've got is rum ... it's the greatest in the world ... (but) I think (Cr Dempsey) knows we are more than just a one trick town," Cr Burnett said.

"We are a major industrial town and we've got the ability to have it all. We've got retirement villages coming to town, we've got the employment and jobs and we've got the state development area.

"With the power, the port and the water Gladstone is the place to invest for industry."

Cr Dempsey told the Courier-Mail his top three priorities to get Bundaberg's economy pumping were to develop the town's port, secure a free trade area to boost exports and cut local power costs by turning agricultural waste into electricity.

But with our biofuels plant underway and close to $30 million in funding for the continued development of East Shores, Bundaberg still has a way to go before it catches up to Gladstone.



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