Construction is underway on a $193 million upgrade to the Port of Townsville as part of the largest expansion in the port’s 156 year history.
The expansion will allow cruise and commercial vessels up to 300 metres in length to safely access the port.
A 2.2 kilometre protective rock wall is under construction at the port, which will help enable the construction of up to six new berths.
More than 70 port staff, suppliers and rock wall construction employees will be involved during this phase of works.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the upgrade would provide a significant boost for jobs and the North Queensland economy.
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“This is the biggest change to the port in almost 30 years and is one that will support jobs in Townsville for decades to come,” Trad said.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Port of Townsville is the gateway for projects as far away as Mount Isa.
“We’ve seen trade at the port increase 4.7 per cent with 7.68 million tonnes of freight going through its gates, alongside 16 cruise ships visited the city bringing with them 20,000 visitors,” Bailey said.
“It’s why the Queensland Government is investing in a $193 million upgrade of the port channel, $40 million Berth 4 upgrade and $48 million intermodal facility.”
State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the port is a critical regional hub that drives economic growth, generates jobs, and plays a significant role in Australia’s defence capabilities.
“It’s great to see the contractor recruiting locally to help lay at least 600,000 tonnes of rock,” Stewart said.
“Holcim has put on more workers to meet the contract from its Roseneath quarry, while HY-TEC also has a contract to supply rock from its quarry at Calcium.”
The new rock wall will take around 12 months to complete, extending approximately 550 metres seaward, with the northern side approximately 1100 metres in length.
It will form a protective bund around a 62 hectare reclamation area to begin the port’s seaward expansion. Construction will occur from Monday to Saturday during daylight hours.