zoomImage Courtesy: Port of Newcastle
Australia’s Port of Newcastle could turn away from coal as its new chairman said there is an “urgent need” to diversify the regional economy and the port’s business.
Professor Roy Green, who has been appointed Chairman of the Port of Newcastle Board, informed that 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,” Green added.
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,” Green commented.
“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,” he continued.
Additionally, Green said that ensuring a level playing field for the development of a viable and competitive container terminal will be among other challenges.
Port of Newcastle’s Shareholders are The Infrastructure Fund and China Merchants Group who have an equal 50/50 shareholding.