SCENIC: Visitors to Abbot Point Operations were excited to overlook the port from the top of the best view in the area.
SCENIC: Visitors to Abbot Point Operations were excited to overlook the port from the top of the best view in the area. Contributed

Point opens its doors

ABBOT Point Operations opened its doors last weekend to employees' families, community groups and contractors giving visitors a unique experience of the regional coal port.

The day was a chance for many people to get up and close with the site; this was the first time the port had opened to the public in over five years.

There will be a second open day this weekend at the coal shipping terminal.

Abbot Point Operations community manager Samantha Evans expects more than 400 people to attend the event over the two days.

"This day was fantastic to allow many members of the community who wouldn't normally be able to see the facility," Ms Evans said.

"We had some of our employees telling us that their children had been up since 4am so excited to see where Mum or Dad worked.

"We really wanted to make it a special for everyone so there were guided tours, Q&A sessions, stalls and a display of the history of the port."

With the port celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Abbot Point Operations chief executive officer Dwayne Freeman felt it was important to show people the site.

"There's been a lot of talk lately about the port, the industry and a lot more lately. I really want to show the community the facility," he said.

"As an operational site with heavy machinery and equipment, we don't often get the opportunity to do such a thing.

"However, with over 180 employees and 200 contractors we felt it was important that their families were able to see where they work.

"These family and community days provide a great opportunity for our employees to show their work, and for the community to learn what, how and why we do what we do."

Mr Freeman said that they hoped to open up the community day to a wider audience in future, with the family day proving a successful proof of concept.

"It's not easy to run an event like this, after all at the end of the day we are a working and operational site," he said.

"We have a lot of upgrades and changes that have come to the facility in the last five years since we ran a community day, and we understand that there's a lot of interest in that.

"Abbot Point Operations exists in a large part due to the people and local businesses of the Bowen community. Without it we could not operate the port as efficiently, safely and sustainably as we do."

For details or inquiries about open days, email them at apo.community@apt1.com.au


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