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NSW Nationals candidate welcomes Port of Newcastle container terminal plans

The NSW Nationals candidate says the “shining regional jewel” can now get to work on its new deep water container terminal

A NSW Nationals party candidate has welcomed the Port of Newcastle’s decision to push ahead with plans to construct a new deep water container terminal after paying $13 million in compensation to the NSW government.

NSW Nationals candidate for the Northern Tablelands Brendan Moylan welcomed the Port of Newcastle’s decision to settle its Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) compensation payment that allows the port, under the Port of Newcastle Extinguishment of Liability Act 2022, to remove itself from Port Commitment Deeds and begin container operations.

Moylan says it’s terrific news for the region as it allows a new container terminal at the port to 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,” Moylan says.

“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.”

Moylan says the push by industry to unlock the port was spearheaded by former MP Adam Marshall and Independent Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper through 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 says.

“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.”

Moylan says the Port of Newcastle is a shining regional jewel and a natural gateway to many parts of NSW.

“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 says.

“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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