GAINING insight into the operations of the mighty Port of Newcastle was the aim of a delegation from Ports Authority Tonga who visited the Hunter region recently.

Included in the delegation were representatives of Ministry of Public Enterprises CEO Sione Akauola and Ports Authority Tonga’s CEO Mosese Lavemai and operations manager Halloween Kisina.

The delegation met with port representatives before taking a tour of the harbour in the afternoon.

The guests were welcomed to the city by local leaders including City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, City of Newcastle chief executive Jeremy Bath and Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, before touring Newcastle Stevedores operations on Friday.

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Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the visit showed Newcastle’s reputation as a regional ports leader.

“As an emerging global city, we’re pleased to be able to highlight the benefits of Newcastle with current and potential international trading partners,” Cr Nelmes said.

“A key strategic direction of the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan is to increase global trade capabilities at the Port of Newcastle to facilitate diversification as we adapt to changing global demands, so we warmly welcome these collaborative discussions with our friends from Tonga.” 

Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said Newcastle was well placed to play a key role in strengthening ties between the two nations.

Port of Newcastle chief executive Craig Carmody said the visit was an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise.

“We are delighted to welcome the delegation from Ports Authority Tonga in a mutual exchange of ideas and innovation,” Mr Carmody said.

“We look forward to showcasing the port and sharing insights from our 220-year history and plans for continued development of a diversified global trade gateway that generates more than $1.6bn dollars of flow on benefits to the regional, state and national economies each year.”

Ports Authority Tonga manages and maintains the operations and assets of Port of Nuku’alofa on the main island of Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga. Another purpose of the visit to Newcastle was to study the privatised port infrastructure and the nature of existing stevedoring concession terms and conditions in Australia.

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