Major floods in the Townsville region in early 2019 have failed to dampen growth in exports leaving the North Queensland city.
According to the latest release from the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Jackie Trad’s office, new preliminary figures show that total trade through Townsville Port increased by 4.7 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year, rising to a total of 7.68 million tonnes.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said that fast tracking of flood repairs to the Mount Isa railway line in the wake of February’s floods had helped keep mineral exports moving through the Port, boosting the local economy.
“Restoration works performed by a dedicated 400-person Queensland Rail taskforce not only fast tracked the repairs but also upgraded sections of the line that were previously under speed restrictions, allowing freight to move just 11 weeks after the disaster,” Mr Stewart said.
“And with the recent announcement of the Palaszczuk Government’s half a billion dollar plan to reduce freight charges and significantly improve transport infrastructure to the port – including $30 million to build the new Crane and Cargo Terminal at Berth 4 – we expect to see this growth continue.”
Local construction business Formset has started earthworks on the $10 million 1.6-hectare container terminal as part of the Crane and Cargo Terminal project at Berth 4.
Commenting the latest news, Formset Managing Director, Brent Zander, said: “Our workforce is 100 per cent local and will be recruiting around 40 additional people over the span of the project. Operating for more than three generations we are proud to provide our expertise in construction and civil works.”
“It is a good feeling knowing that our project also adds to the planning of growth in the port and the region.”
Townsville Port CEO, Ranee Crosby, said that the project will use sustainable management of the port’s sand that is being dredged from the mouth of Ross River – deposited there by the February 2019 flood.
“Around 3,000 cubic tonnes of dredged sand will be used in the preparation of ground stabilization for the project,” concluded Ms Crosby.