PORT of Newcastle’s new CEO, Craig Carmody, has voiced his commitment to developing a container terminal at the port.
Mr Carmody said a container terminal at Newcastle would boost jobs and business opportunities in the Hunter region and reduce the number of trucks on Sydney’s roads through expanded use of Newcastle’s rail connectivity.
“The potential for a container terminal in Newcastle to diversify and grow the NSW economy is far bigger than the NSW government seems to realise,” he said.
“We are already exploring a range of options based on global best practice and I am looking forward to discussing our plans with the state government and port developers who have expressed an interest in this exciting project,” he said.
Mr Carmody said the port had already received interest from domestic and global players that are interested in developing the terminal.
“However, we cannot proceed while the NSW government imposes an artificial restriction on port competition,” he said.
The ACCC has said it was concerned that contractual restrictions prevent the expansion of container throughput at “certain ports”, thereby limiting competition.
Mr Carmody said Newcastle was “ready to go” as a global gateway for regional Australia.
“We have cost-effective landside connectivity, interested shippers and a deep channel port that is operating at less than half its capacity,” he said.
“With freight growth in NSW expected to double by 2040, a fully utilised Port of Newcastle with a world-class container terminal will provide efficiencies and competition to meet the future logistics and freight task. It is an honour to lead such an important project.”
The CEO said Newcastle was proud to be the world’s largest coal port, but he was realistic about coal’s declining prospects in decades to come.
“That is why we are committed at the Port of Newcastle to playing a major part in the Hunter region’s growth and diversification strategy through the development of a container terminal,” he said.