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Author: By MICHELLE HARRIS State Political Reporter
PLANS for the Port of Newcastle to host the state’s next container terminal are officially dead, after the state cabinet decided to proceed with the long-term lease of Port Kembla and Port Botany.
Treasurer Mike Baird announced yesterday that Port Botany and Port Kembla will be sold on a 99-year lease after the Cabinet signed off on the recommendations of a scoping study commissioned to determine the process.
The study also looked at the implications for the Port of Newcastle, which had long been promised under the former Labor government to get the next containerterminal once Port Botany reached capacity.
But Mr Baird said yesterday Port Kembla was found to be the most cost-effective location “for any potential future overflow of containers from Port Botany”, based on an assessment of the NSW freight network and its proximity to businesses and warehouses in south west Sydney.
“Newcastle is, and will remain, the pre-eminent port in NSW for coal and grain exports,” Mr Baird said.
The Newcastle Port Corporation lodged a concept plan for the development of portside land at the former steelworks site at Mayfield that included a containerterminal.
The NSW Planning Department has recommended the plan for approval.