The Federal Government has approved the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the $1.64 billionTownsville Port Expansion Project.
This clears the way for preliminary works on Stage 1, the $193 million channel widening project, to kick off by April this year, pending a resolution on final funding between the State and Federal governments.
Port of Townsville chief executive officer Ranee Crosby said the 30-year development plan under the expansion project would to allow the facility to become a globally competitive port.
“Ships are getting bigger and the widening of the channel is absolutely critical to the future viability of the Port of Townsville,” she said.
“Bigger ships coming to Townsville will mean lower shipping costs for freight, better connectivity to global trade markets, as well as allowing larger cruise ships to visit the city, which will further boost cruise tourism in the region.
“At the moment Townsville cannot accept ships longer than 238m in length, which by today’s global standards is completely inadequate.
“We are working closely with the Queensland and Federal Governments on final funding arrangements so we can get this project underway, creating local jobs, and continuing to work in close partnership with the local community to deliver best practice environmental outcomes.”
Port of Townsville will fund $43 million for the Channel Capacity Upgrade, the Queensland Government has confirmed a $75 million funding commitment and has sought a matched $75 million contribution from the Federal Government for the project to proceed.