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Chamber welcomes support for a Newcastle container terminal

Release Date: 12/04/2018
The Hunter Business Chamber has said it is about time that a Newcastle container terminal is put on the table as a very real option.
CEO Bob Hawes said the Chamber has advocated for the growth and diversification of trade in the Newcastle Port for a very long time and it is heartening to see the matter finally getting the attention it deserves.
“We understand there is broad support from councils throughout the Port’s catchment area extending deep into NSW, with many making submissions to the NSW Government regarding its Draft Freight and Ports Plan, highlighting the benefits of a Newcastle container terminal that go beyond just the Hunter.
“A Newcastle container terminal could deliver rail transport cost savings of more than 30% for exporters including farmers, producers and manufacturers in the central west and northern NSW, compared with Port Botany.
“Like the Chamber, our regions recognise that every dollar saved in transport costs makes our NSW exporters more competitive in the global marketplace.
“Within the Hunter, exporters are currently paying more to send their goods further afield to Port Botany. A Newcastle container terminal would give them the choice of export and import port and could deliver substantial cost savings that would boost their international competitiveness and free up funds to invest in growing their business.
“A Report by Deloitte Access Economics notes that there is currently around $27.6 billion in planned investment to support port freight in NSW.
“By providing a level playing field for a Newcastle container terminal, the NSW Government can leverage the capacity that already exists within the Port of Newcastle and its existing road and rail supply chains, and save billions of dollars which can be invested in other priority projects for the State.
“The Port of Newcastle could help reduce the strain on Sydney’s transport network, reducing congestion and delaying the urgency of some costly infrastructure projects now and in the future.
“Container movements at the Port of Newcastle would support regional growth and development in the Hunter and across NSW more broadly and it is critical that government is identifying and preserving those corridors that will enable this to happen.
“We need to do broader planning now and lock in transport and service corridors for rail and road to protect the port and the community that sits alongside this vital infrastructure.
“The Port team has been working on a number of economic development opportunities over several years, and it is great to see them coming to fruition for the benefit of the region and the state,” Bob said.

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