THE Port of Townsville has recorded a throughput of 8.2m tonnes of freight in 2019/20, which was a 6.5% increase on last year. With a focus on cost management, the port also reported a $13.87m net profit.

The role of mining, resources and agricultural industries were significant with growth primarily driven by exports of mineral concentrates (up 17%), fertiliser (up 25%) and livestock (up 32%), making it Australia’s largest live cattle export port.

Despite COVID-19, the port continued to invest in projects that are providing jobs for the region and will provide for the growth and competitiveness of the port. These include the start of construction on the largest infrastructure project in the port’s history, the $193m Channel Upgrade.

Works are well advanced on the 2.2 km rock wall to create a 62-hectare reclamation area. The project will employ over 120 people to widen the shipping channel to allow access for larger ships.

The port has also nearly completed work on a $30m ship-to-shore crane and cargo area to grow container trade in the region.

Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby paid tribute to the port team, customers and logistics partners who worked closely together to ensure supply chains stayed open this year.

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“This has been a year unlike any other, but it was a testament to our employees, customers and supply chain partners who worked together to keep the economy moving and keep people in jobs,” she said.

“We also provided a range of support for our community from donating food vouchers to making meals at community charity hubs and providing funding to seafarers.

“We also extended support for businesses with hardship arrangements, rental relief and freezing any increases on charges.”

Ms Crosby said the port’s growth is crucial to the economy, jobs and the future of North Queensland.

“We are also acutely aware of our location within the sensitive Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. We are investing $17m over the next five years in programs to protect and enhance our surrounding environment,” she said.

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