NSW Ports has marked the 40th anniversary of Port Botany, with an industry breakfast and the release of a book that highlights important moments in the port’s history.
Two decades in the making, the construction of the container and bulk liquids port at Botany Bay created a new shipping hub for NSW.
At the formal opening on 10 December 1979, the then Premier Neville Wran described Port Botany as, “the most dramatic change ever in Australian ports”, and declared it to be, “one of the biggest and most complex engineering projects ever undertaken in NSW.”
Forty years on, Port Botany has cemented its place as Australia’s premier port. It operates around the clock, delivering more than $3.7bn to gross state product annually and creating more than 25,000 jobs per year.
“With the invention of the modern shipping container in the 1950s, the NSW government recognised the need to create large, modern port facilities to benefit from this new, more efficient and safer means of handling cargo, and Port Botany was the answer,” NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said.
“It was a visionary plan, one that has secured long term capacity to efficiently handle the state’s container, bulk liquid and gas trade needs for the future.”
Ms Calfas made the point that 42% of all goods in a Sydney household have been imported in a container through Port Botany.
In its first year of operation, Port Botany handled 111,000 TEU. Today, the Port handles 99.6% of NSW’s container trade, and has surpassed 2.6m TEU annually. Port Botany is also the primary bulk liquid and gas port in NSW, handling more than 6bn litres bitumen, LPG, bulk chemicals, refined petroleum fuels and aviation fuel.
Ms Calfas added that even with NSW’s expected population growth, Port Botany still had significant capacity to support the state’s growing needs.