Port lease delivers $1.75 billion to state

The successful leasing of Newcastle Port earlier this year has secured funds needed to revitalise Newcastle.
When announcing the lease NSW Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Andrew Constance stated that the lease would be seen as a great result for the people of NSW.
The Port will be leased for 98 years to Port of Newcastle Investments, a consortium which comprises Hastings Funds Management and China Merchants.
The long-term lease will deliver gross proceeds of $1.75 billion. $340 million from the proceeds will be used for the revitalisation of the Newcastle CBD, in addition to the $120 million the Government has already allocated to the project, which includes a new light rail service.
The extra $1.5 billion will be invested in NSW infrastructure, with 30 per cent to be directed toward projects in rural and regional NSW.
The remainder, more than $1.2 billion, will be invested in the NSW Government’s dedicated infrastructure fund, Restart NSW.
The NSW Government reached an agreement with Port of Newcastle Investments for the lease following a competitive five-month bidding process. Mr Constance said the two members of Port of Newcastle Investments are well-known, long-term global infrastructure investors, with an attractive track record in asset ownership, operations and developments.
Hastings Funds Management and China Merchants are equal partners in Port of Newcastle Investments. Hastings has been involved in many successful government asset transactions, including the Sydney Desalination Plant and Cairns and Mackay Airports.
China Merchants has a 140-year history as an owner and operator of ports and transport businesses. It has been operating in the trading and retail sector in Australia for more than 20 years.
In 2010, it acquired leading Australian-based container pallet logistics provider, Loscam.
The NSW Government will continue to retain regulatory oversight of the Port of Newcastle as well as responsibility for a range of maritime safety and security functions, including emergency response, Harbour Master, Port Safety Operating Licence and pilotage functions. The State will also continue to manage Nobbys Head.