The current width of the channels to Townsville Port limit routine navigational access to vessels no greater than 238 metres Length Overall (LOA) and a beam of 32 metres. A range of vessels that require access to import/export freight in Northern Queensland have dimensions exceeding this. Therefore these vessels must utilise southern capital city ports, with freight to then be road and rail transported to Northern Queensland, increasing the time, cost, safety risks and environmental impacts.
Larger ships create improved economies of scale, ultimately offering cheaper imports and exports out of Northern Australia and reduced carbon emissions.
$75M of the required $193M to widen the sea channels has been provided by the State Government. This commitment will assist the POT in securing the remaining funds from other funding sources. Full construction works are estimated to be completed in 2022.
A revised detailed business case has been submitted to shareholding Ministers for a decision by June 2017 and an evaluation report on the Port of Townsville’s environmental impact statement is being prepared by the co-ordinator-general of the Department of State Development.
Jobs and Economic Impacts
- 120 FTE jobs during channel capacity construction
- 245 FTE jobs in Queensland supported after construction
- Support 8000 jobs in industries relying on the Port
- $580M present value of benefits
- 13 June- State Government included $75M down-payment for the Port of Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade in their 2017-18 budget