Bailey asks for federal funding for port project


Townsville Port's Channel Widening Project needs support from Canberra, minister says

Bailey asks for federal funding for port project
Bailey urges Coalition to match state funding.

 

Queensland has welcomed federal government's decision to approve the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Townsville Port Expansion Project.

At the same time, the state transport minister Mark Bailey has called on his federal counterpart to commit federal funding for the Port Channel Widening Project.

Bailey says the state government had already committed $75 million in the 2017-18 Budget for channel widening - part of the first stage of the port’s expansion over the next four years.

The minister is calling for the federal government to match the state government contribution.

"If the Turnbull Government wants to support jobs Townsville jobs and economic development, it needs to find the funds to support this critical project for the North Queensland economy," Bailey says.

"I have written to my Federal counterpart confirming our call for the Turnbull Government to commit $75 million to turn this needed expansion into a reality to set up Townsville Port for decades.

"Importantly, this EIS process has ensured strict environmental conditions have been placed on the expansion project to manage potential impacts on Cleveland Bay in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

"The project was revised to be consistent with our Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan commitments, and no capital dredge material will be permitted to be placed at sea - instead material will be used to develop a 152 hectare reclamation area at the Port."

The EIS approval means that preliminary works on Stage 1, the $193 million Channel Widening Project, could kick off by April, pending funding from Canberra.

Stage 1 is part of the 30-year, $1.64 billion expansion.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart says the project will support local economy.

"Bigger ships are becoming more common and a wider channel into Townsville is vital for the future prosperity of our city," Stewart says.

"At the moment Townsville cannot accept ships longer than 238 metres in length, which by today’s global standards is inadequate.

"That’s why it’s so important that the Coalition Government partners with the Palaszczuk Government and helps fund this vital project."

The Townsville Port Expansion Project involves four key elements:

  • capital dredging of 11.48 million cubic metres of sediment to widen and deepen the Sea and Platypus Channels and an expanded harbour basin
  • establishing a 152ha reclamation area
  • construction of 4km of rock revetments and potentially a new 700-metre western breakwater
  • construction of six new berths.

The Port of Townsville will fund $43 million for the Channel Capacity Upgrade.

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