A world-class container terminal at Port of Newcastle would create 4,600 jobs, boost the state economy by $6 billion and slash the transport costs for regional exporters, according to a new report by economic consultancy, AlphaBeta.
The report - Global Gateway for NSW: the economic impact of a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle - shows that a modern container terminal would cut land transport costs for northern NSW businesses by $2.8 billion by 2050.
Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the report finds that exports from the Hunter Region and northern NSW would increase by $1 billion by 2050 as a result.
"Businesses in Newcastle, Singleton, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Liverpool Plains and Narrabri can look forward to savings of more than $500 per standard container, if they shipped their goods through Newcastle rather than Port Botany or Port of Brisbane," Mr Carmody said.
"A Newcastle Container Terminal will mean more jobs, a reduction in unnecessary road and rail movements, and cheaper freight costs for regional importers and exporters."
The AlphaBeta report compared Newcastle with Port Botany and Port of Brisbane in terms of container transport costs and found that the savings using Newcastle ranged from $193 to $583 per TEU (twenty-foot container).
Introducing container competition would create a benefit of $1.2 billion to all NSW businesses by 2050, the report found.
Mr Carmody said the world's shipping companies were moving to very large vessels - those handling up to 18,000 TEU - that substantially reduce the cost per container.
"Australia's east coast ports are unable to efficiently accommodate these large vessels, which are twice the size of the maximum the capital cities can handle," Mr Carmody said.
"Port of Newcastle is regional Australia's global gateway and already has the deep channel and the road and rail landside capacity to manage these super-sized container ships.
"There is strong interest in this opportunity from a number of globally-significant port operators, as well as from the community, which recognises the need to transition our economy and make Australia more globally-competitive."
Mr Carmody said the regional NSW economy was diversifying and the freight savings from a Newcastle Container Terminal would be enjoyed across many industries, from agriculture and food processing to advanced manufacturing and mining services.
Media enquiries: Sam Collyer, Senior Manager Corporate Communications, Port of Newcastle, 02 4908 8214, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read the report.