PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has voiced support for Port of Newcastle’s $2.4 billion Multipurpose Deepwater Terminal in a meeting with Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody on Thursday.

A statement from Port of Newcastle said Mr Morrison’s visit is reflective of the importance of the port to the economy and the relevance of its diversification plans to the government’s agenda.

Mr Carmody spoke to the Prime Minister about how the Commonwealth can support Port of Newcastle’s diversification plans in several areas for the benefit of the region and the nation.

Port of Newcastle’s statement said it is keen to move forward with building the Multipurpose Deepwater Terminal once penalties on container trade through the port are removed.

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In a press conference, Mr Morrison said he wants to ensure Port of Newcastle can deliver all the services that the region needs to be successful.

“Let me be clear about what I want to see; whether it’s the port here in Newcastle or the port up in Townsville or wherever ports may be … I want these ports to be able to service the regions as fully and as competitively as possible,” he said.

“I want to see the Port of Newcastle working for the Hunter, and I’ll be working to that end.”

At present, the question of whether a container port will be built at the Port of Newcastle is still just that: a question.

The ACCC’s legal action against NSW Ports, in which the commission alleges anti-competitive behaviour by New South Wales and NSW Ports, is still before the Federal Court. A decision is expected soon.

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