The first rocks of the Townsville port’s protective wall have been laid, marking the beginning of the $193 million upgrade.
Construction of the 2.2 kilometre protective rock wall will enable up to six new berths.
This upgrade will be the port’s largest expansion in its 156 year history.
It will allow for cruise and commercial vessels up to 300 metres in length to dock at the port, creating jobs and boosting the economy.
More than 70 port staff, suppliers and rock wall construction employees will be involved in the wall construction phase.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Port of Townsville is the gateway for projects as far away as Mount Isa. He said this investment will ensure the entire North Queensland economy can benefit now and into the future.
“We’ve seen trade at the port increase 4.7 per cent with 7.68 million tonnes of freight going through its gates, alongside 16 cruise ships visited the city bringing with them 20,000 visitors,” Mr. Bailey said.
State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the port is a critical regional hub that drives economic growth, generates jobs, and plays a significant role in Australia’s defence capabilities.
“It’s great to see the contractor recruiting locally to help lay at least 600,000 tonnes of rock,” Mr. Stewart said.
“Holcim has put on more workers to meet the contract from its Roseneath quarry, while HY-TEC also has a contract to supply rock from its quarry at Calcium.”
The new rock wall will take around 12 months to complete, extending approximately 550 metres seaward, with the northern side approximately 1,100 metres in length.
It will form a protective bund around a 62 hectare reclamation area to begin the port’s seaward expansion. Construction will occur from Monday to Saturday during daylight hours.