Respected business and academic leader Professor (Emeritus) Roy Green has been appointed Chairman of the Port of Newcastle Board.
Professor Green has worked in universities, business and government in Australia and overseas, including most recently as Dean of the UTS Business School at the University of Technology Sydney.
Port of Newcastle's CEO, Geoff Crowe, said Professor Green's national and international experience will add significant value to the Port in its strategy to grow and diversify its trade.
Professor Green previously chaired the Australian Government's Innovative Regions Centre, CSIRO Manufacturing Sector Advisory Council and NSW Manufacturing Industries Advisory Council, and he is currently Chair of the Queensland Competition Authority.
"Professor Green also has a strong understanding of the Hunter region's competitive advantages, having worked at the University of Newcastle through the 1990s, including close engagement with the BHP Newcastle Steelworks transition and Hunter economic development bodies," said Mr Crowe.
"It's a great honour to be appointed to Port of Newcastle at such a pivotal moment in its evolution. Coal has been at the heart of the Hunter's economy for the better part of two centuries, and it will continue to be central to the prosperity of the region and Port of Newcastle for some time to come. However, there is also an urgent need to diversify the Hunter economy and the Port's business," said Professor Green.
"Port of Newcastle has already started diversifying, through investments in a new cruise terminal and non-coal freight facilities. But we must build significantly on this platform and create world class port facilities that are able to meet the needs of a rapidly changing Hunter and NSW economy. With a 98 year lease, the Port of Newcastle is obliged to think long term, and it will.
"Most people in the Hunter understand that the fortunes of the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter economy are inextricably linked, as it is impossible to have a thriving port without a thriving regional economy. Anything that is good for the Hunter economy is good for the Port of Newcastle. We are all in this together.
"Clearly the long term outlook for coal is a threat to the Port and Hunter region, but it is also a huge opportunity. While the world's demand for our coal is beyond our control, our ability to invest in new sources of growth and innovation is not. Among our challenges will be ensuring a level playing field for the development of a viable and competitive container terminal.
"I look forward to working with Port of Newcastle's Board, CEO, management and staff to meet these challenges. As Chairman, I will stand up for the interests of the Hunter and regional NSW and work tirelessly with those who share our vision of a growing, diversified and innovative Hunter economy," concluded Professor Green.
Port of Newcastle's Shareholders are The Infrastructure Fund and China Merchants Group who have an equal 50/50 shareholding.