$193M Port of Townsville upgrade progresses

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking NSW Ports and its subsidiaries Port Botany Operations and Port Kembla Operations to the Federal Court for allegedly making agreements with the state of New South Wales that are allegedly anti-competitive in purpose and effect.More than half the total rock required to build a new protective sea wall has been delivered to the Port of Townsville as part of its upgrade project.

The rock will be used to build a 2.2 kilometre sea wall that will eventually reclaim an additional 62 hectares of land for port operations. So far the rock delivered weighs about 375,000 tonnes.

Local contractors have been engaged to supply rock from local quarries and those west of Townsville.

Holcim and HyTec along with Ravenswood Gold mine are suppling 750 000 tonnes of rock, and Queensland company Hall Contracting is building the 2.2-kilometre wall.

More than 70 port staff, rock supply and construction employees are involved in building the rock wall, and more than 10,000 project hours have been completed so far.

The port upgrade comes as part of the City Deal and the sea wall is the first phase of the project. At the project’s conclusion, the ports channel will be widened allowing ships of up to 300 metres in length to visit the port.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the Port upgrade had created a jobs and economic boost for Townsville.

“It’s fantastic to see the the rock wall powering ahead at a time when Townsville, like the rest of the country, needs an economic injection,” Mr. Tudge said.

“Off the back of the City Deal, getting work underway on this project is crucial to the Morrison Government’s priorities as we rebuild the economy during COVID-19.”

State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Port of Townsville was hugely important for the region.

“It is a vital piece of infrastructure that drives economic growth and generates jobs,” Mr. Stewart said.

“The upgrade will help the port increase its capacity which is important for many sectors of the North Queensland economy.”

Construction is expected to be complete early 2021. Dredging to widen the channel will begin immediately after. Dredging material will be used to reclaim the land area created by the wall.

Final completion of the entire project is expected for late 2023.

The Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade is a joint project of the Queensland and Federal Governments and Port of Townsville Limited. The Channel Upgrade forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.

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