Budget will make down payment on Port expansion to boost jobs and trade
The Palaszczuk Government’s State Budget will provide a down payment of up to $75 million for the Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade (TCCU) project, subject to finalisation of an environmental impact statement and business case assessment - boosting trade and jobs for North Queensland.
Visiting the Port in Townsville today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Port expansion has been identified in the Townsville City Deal between the Queensland Government, Federal Government and Townsville City Council.
The Premier said the project would provide a further boost to the North Queensland economy by:
“Queensland has a record year for exports last year with $52 billion in overseas sales,” the Premier said.
“The Townsville Port is northern Australia’s primary container, general cargo and automotive port. The Port handles around 10 million tonnes of product worth over $10 billion each year, and services 70% of the population in northern Australia.”
“The Port of Townsville is an important gateway for trade. Through the City Deal, the three levels of government highlighted the Port expansion as a priority.”
“To progress this project, we have been working through a comprehensive environmental approval process and developing a business case.”
“Subject to the EISwhich requires Federal Government approval, and business case approvals, my Government is prepared to commit $75 million towards the costs of the project, and work to get a matching commitment from the Turnbull Government.”
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government has made it a priority of the 2017-18 Budget to facilitate economic infrastructure, particularly in regional Queensland.
“The Government is prepared to invest $75 million - $13 million in dividends and $62 million equity injection – for the TCCU subject to receiving all environmental approvals and securing the balance of funding through the City Deal,” he said.
“The long-term certainty of import and export capacity of the Port essential for the region to attract major private investment into growth areas such as new or expanded mines, agriculture precincts and value-adding service industries,” she said.
The project is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s continuing investment in Townsville and the North, including
Ports Minister Mark Bailey said the Port of Townsville was a vital and strategic trading port for North Queensland and that the Port Expansion Project now incorporated on-land beneficial re-use of all capital dredge material.
“Consistent with our Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan commitments, no capital dredge material will be permitted to be placed at sea,” Mr Bailey said.
“This project is one of a number of significant initiatives that will cement the Port of Townsville as Northern Australia’s premier trade and logistics hub, including the Palaszczuk Government’s acceleration of the $55 million Berth 4 upgrade, which will double the Port’s container trade capacity.
“Our ports boost local economies, supporting industry and agriculture and driving jobs. We will continue to use our public ownership of assets to back regional growth.”
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said widening the channel would not only mean jobs for locals now and but also for the future.
“Once the channel widening work has been completed, we know this will attract future growth in trade and investment, which will ultimately lead to more jobs for locals down the track,” Mrs O’Rourke said.