Contract awarded for $193 million Townsville upgrade

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.The $193 million Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade Project is progressing with a multi-million-dollar rock supply contract awarded to Holcim Australia.

Holcim will supply a significant portion of the rock required to construct a wall that will protect the 62-ha Reclamation Area – which will eventually accommodate expanded port infrastructure.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Channel Upgrade Project would support more than 125 jobs during its construction.

“Government-owned ports facilitate trade that creates jobs and investment in the Queensland economy,” Mr. Stewart said.

“Townsville Port is a major trade gateway for Northern Australia and for the nation – it is the country’s largest sugar, zinc, lead, copper and fertiliser port and Northern Australia’s largest container and automotive port. The state government is keeping its commitment to Queenslanders to keep state assets in public hands.”

Mr. Stewart said the channel upgrade project is essential for securing freight supply chains, creating jobs and investment in North Queensland and will allow bigger ships direct into Townsville – reducing the cost of imports for the Queensland economy.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the project was one of the centrepieces of the state government’s $840 million infrastructure commitment for the Townsville Region in 2018/19.

“A strong economy that creates jobs relies on strategic investment in infrastructure, and that’s exactly what the Channel Upgrade Project is,” Mr. Harper said.

“The Port of Townsville has a proud history stretching back more than 150-years and this project marks an exciting development that will underpin its importance as one our state’s key trading ports.”

Port of Townsville Limited Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said more than 600,000 tonnes of core and armour rock will be required over the next 12 months for the construction of the rock wall.

“Holcim will play a significant role in that total delivery, with other suppliers to be announced in the near future,” Ms. Ranee said.

“Local benefit is an important consideration in the awarding of contracts for the Channel Upgrade, and Holcim’s involvement will deliver that.”

Holcim General Manager Queensland Aggregates Peter Ambrose said the company has the experience needed for a major project of this scale.

“Holcim is pleased to be awarded one of the rock supply contracts for the Port of Townsville’s Channel Upgrade project and continue our proud history of supplying high quality rock for vital marine infrastructure projects,” Mr. Ambrose said.

“To meet the demands of this project, our local Roseneath quarry will grow by up to eight new team members and additional local suppliers and service companies will be engaged.’’

Holcim’s trucking program will follow a Department of Transport and Main Roads approved route along the Flinders Highway and the Port Access Road.

Ms. Crosby said there will a phased start to rock haulage that will occur between 6am and 6pm Monday to Saturday.

“We’re restricting movements to daylight hours to minimise any impact on residents,’’ Ms. Crosby said.

“The Channel Upgrade is a vital project for the economic future of not only Townsville, but North Queensland as a whole.”

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