Sep 18, 2009

Access agreement reached at the Port of Newcastle

Access agreement reached at the Port of Newcastle

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 18 2009

I welcome the commonsense agreement that has been reached between government and industry over the long term operations at the Port of Newcastle.

I congratulate all the parties – NSW Government, Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) and the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) – for the constructive way they have approached these complex negotiations.

The agreement unlocks billions of dollars in new investment and will create thousands of jobs. It also complements the $1.2 billion investment the Federal Government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is making to more than double the capacity of the Hunter Valley’s rail network.

This investment is a key part of our Economic Stimulus Plan, with two of six funded projects already completed including the duplication of the line between St Heilers and Muswellbrook.

The agreement allows coal loading and rail operations to be underpinned by 10 year contracts, thereby giving coal producers as well as rail and port operators the certainty they need to make long term investment decisions and grow their businesses.

It will also guarantee access to new producers wanting to enter the market.

The outcome achieved at the Port of Newcastle is a significant step forward for infrastructure development that will benefit NSW and Australian economies.