THE INAUGURAL GreenPort Congress Oceania kicked off in Newcastle this week.

Delegates from around the world travelled to the port city for the long-running industry gathering, which is being held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.

The conference began on Tuesday evening with a welcome reception at the Newcastle Club, one of the oldest private clubs in Australia.

Guests relaxed over drinks, conversations and live music ahead of two full days at the Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre.

A highlight of the evening was an address from Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody and from Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

Wednesday’s agenda was packed with panel discussions and keynote presentations from leaders in shipping, ports and research sectors.

The first day of presentations explored climate change, renewable energy, net-zero carbon cruising and collaborative communities.

Industry representatives outlined their respective companies’ approaches to sustainability, from shore power to working alongside developing economies.

Q&A sessions opened the floor for attendees to ask stimulating and often challenging questions.

Port of Newcastle is hosting this year’s congress. Mr Carmody said the event is an opportunity for industry to collaborate with like-minded stakeholders.

“Hosting an international forum that brings together industry leaders and experts to discuss the latest sustainable developments and environmental practices will benefit not just us, but ports across the world as we work towards a more sustainable and socially responsible future,” he said.

The theme for the inaugural GreenPort Congress Oceania is ‘Balancing environmental considerations with economic demands’, which will be the focus of a packed three-day programme that involves 33 speakers from countries including Solomon Islands, PNG, Australia and New Zealand.”

GreenPort Congress Oceania will continue with another full day on Thursday and a tour of Port of Newcastle on Friday.

DCN will provide further in-depth coverage in the upcoming March edition of its magazine.