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Doors are opening for Port of Newcastle Deepwater Container Terminal

NewcastleDeepwaterContainerTerminal Concept

Port of Newcastle confirms the one-off compensation payment required under the Port of Newcastle Extinguishment of Liability Act 2022 (NSW) has been paid.

As of 30 April 2024, the reimbursement provisions (penalty payments) within the Port of Newcastle Port Commitment Deed no longer exist. Meaning, Port of Newcastle is no longer liable to reimburse the State for compensation payments owed to NSW Ports when the Port of Newcastle competes against Port Botany in container operations.

Following an extraordinary Board meeting, the Port of Newcastle Board voted in favour of paying the amount determined by IPART immediately on receipt of the invoice from NSW Treasury.

Reaching this point in the Port’s history was not done in isolation, after 24 years of advocacy, the Port’s stakeholders and community have been steadfast in their support of constructing and operating a container terminal in Newcastle.

Port of Newcastle CEO, Craig Carmody said with the legislative process now complete, the Port must turn its attention to the NSW Freight Reform Program.

“The door was once closed on Newcastle operating a container terminal, today, the legal and commercial restriction has been lifted, and we now turn our attention to removing the last regulatory / policy obstacle - the deliberately unfair NSW Freight & Ports Policy. Then planning approvals, investment and construction,” Mr Carmody said.

“But first, I must recognise Member for Lake Macquarie, Greg Piper MP and the many supporters that stood behind us calling for change and a fair go, it truly was a movement beyond one organisation that has led to this moment,” he said.

“Transport for NSW recently released the Freight Policy Reform Consultation Paper, which states a guiding principle is that competition must be encouraged and well balanced.

“That is all Port of Newcastle has ever asked for, the opportunity to compete and this policy reform must ensure a level playing field and stop trying to pick private company winners,” Mr Carmody said.

Port of Newcastle’s Board Chair, Prof Roy Green said the Port of Newcastle Board’s pursuit of this outcome is a result of the market demand.

“Agreement to pay the determination was met without hesitation,” Prof Green said.

“Since Port of Newcastle was privatised in 2014, it became apparent the market in the Port’s catchment did not want their own trade restricted, they wanted their product exported in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

“This was highlighted in the support we received during the legislative process, the Port of Newcastle Extinguishment of Liability Act became less about the Port of Newcastle and more about a collective group of organisations demanding change.

“While we eagerly await the outcome of the Freight Reform Program, Port of Newcastle will continue its planning for a container terminal, including continuing to grow container trade through the Port’s Multipurpose Terminal, which has current planning approval for 350,000 containers a year,” he said.

To learn more about the future Newcastle Deepwater Container Terminal visit NDCT.