Moylan welcomes Port of Newcastle container terminal push

NSW Nationals

NSW Nationals candidate for Northern Tablelands, Brendan Moylan, has welcomed news the Port of Newcastle is pushing ahead with its plans to construct a new deep water container terminal, after paying $13 million in compensation to the State Government.

The payment follows a decision by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) last month which allowed the Port, under the Port of Newcastle Extinguishment of Liability Act 2022, to unshackle itself from onerous and anti-competitive Port Commitment Deeds by making the payment.

Mr Moylan said it was terrific news for the region and would mean the new container terminal at the Port of Newcastle could now proceed, allowing for hundreds of millions of dollars of extra investment and export opportunities.

“This is brilliant news for our region and one of the final hurdles the Port had to jump over to get the green light to build a container terminal,” Mr Moylan said.

“Our grain growers have a gateway to world markets on their doorstep, and with the payment now made to the government, it will mean the Port of Newcastle is well and truly opened for business.

“Establishing a new container terminal at the Port of Newcastle has the potential of cutting the cost of grain rail freight by $16 to $22 per tonne, putting huge dollars back into the pockets of growers and the local economy.”

Mr Moylan said the push by industry to unlock the Port was spearheaded by former MP Adam Marshall and Independent Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, with the Port of Newcastle (Extinguishment of Liability) Bill 2022.

“This bill was crucial to finally break the impediments placed on the Newcastle Port and was considered in IPART’s determination,” he said.

“When the Port of Newcastle was privatised in 2014, a Port Commitments Deed required the operators to reimburse the State Government for any compensation paid to the operators of Kembla and Botany.

“These provisions made establishing a container terminal and increasing capacity at the Port of Newcastle unviable – until now.”

Mr Moylan said the Port of Newcastle was a shining regional jewel and a natural gateway to many parts of New South Wales.

“Our state has now opened up to more investment and export opportunities, backing in our hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the regions,” he said.

“My focus will now be, if elected, to work with the Port to see this container terminal get built and the government to ensure our Special Activation Precinct at Moree ready to go, so we can maximise the full economic opportunities on offer.”

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