NORTH Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation has reported record trade volumes for the 2017-18 financial year, with 187.7m tonnes crossing the wharves at its four trading ports.
Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the figure was a 10% increase on the previous year.
“This is a fantastic result for NQBP, for our port communities and for the Queensland economy,” she said.
“Although throughput in the 2016-17 financial year was impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie, 2017-18 trade was also higher than previous years’ figures.”
NQBP’s total throughput was 178.5m tonnes in the 2014-15 financial year.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Port of Mackay exceeded 3m tonnes of throughput for only the third time in its history.
“This news really demonstrates the renewed strength in Mackay’s economy with trade not reaching this level since the 2013-14 financial year,” she said.
“More than 100,000 tonnes of break-bulk cargo passed through the port, linked to increased industry in the Bowen Basin. NQBP and the government have focused on growing this trade over the past year, making several infrastructure upgrades and improvements.”
Ms Gilbert pointed to the recent installation of new fenders and an upgrade that now allows ro-ro ships to call at Mackay for the first time.
“This means the port can now be considered by new mining and agricultural original equipment manufacturers, who tend to favour the ro-ro carriers. That means there’s more opportunity on the horizon for our local port.”
Fuel, which is the port’s biggest commodity by volume, also had a record year. 1.6m tonnes were imported, largely to service a pick-up in mining activity in the region.
Throughput increased at each of NQBP’s four trading ports in the 2017-18, compared with the previous financial year:
- Hay Point – 120.4m tonnes, 13% increase
- Mackay – 3m tonnes, 3% increase
- Abbot Point – 30m tonnes, 10% increase
- Weipa – 36.2m tonnes, 2% increase