Media Reports

Transforming Newcastle: Port Lease secures funds for revitalisation – Transport NSW

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Andrew Constance today announced the successful lease of the Port of Newcastle, delivering a great result for the people of NSW and securing the funds needed for the revitalisation of Newcastle. The NSW Government has agreed to lease the Port for 98 years to Port of Newcastle Investments, a consortium which comprises Hastings Funds Management and China Merchants. The long-term lease will deliver gross proceeds of $1.75 billion. This outstanding result means an extra $1.5 billion will be invested in much-needed NSW infrastructure, with 30 per cent to be directed toward projects in rural…

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OPINION: Government keeping Port deal contained – Newcastle Herald

By GREG CAMERON April 29, 2014, 9:30 p.m. THE 98-year lease of the Port of Newcastle is likely to be finalised any day. With Port forecast earnings of $69million a year, a deal at 15-times earnings is tipped that would see more than $1billion raised for NSW. Why does the NSW government decline to reveal whether a condition of the lease is that there will be no container terminal built on the former steelworks site? Why, too, does the government decline to reveal whether a condition of the Port Botany lease is that there will be no container terminal at the…

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LETTER: Freight diversion commuter bonus – Newcastle Herald

PREMIER Barry O’Farrell seems to be waiting for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to assume responsibility for western Sydney road, rail and air infrastructure. My suggestion is to put the container terminal in Newcastle. This would provide the base load freight to pay for a rail freight bypass of Sydney travelling through Badgerys Creek. This in turn would allow  freight to be removed from the Sydney rail network, thus releasing rail capacity for an express passenger service to Badgerys Creek. Sydney Airport could be expanded by lengthening runways after relocating Port Botany container terminal operations to Newcastle. And removing freight from…

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OPINION: Container terminal vital for world trade – Newcastle Herald

By Greg Cameron ON Tuesday in federal parliament, the Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese was asked by ALP western Sydney backbencher  Ed Husic,  ‘‘How will the government’s infrastructure investment plans help move freight more quickly into Port Botany?’’ Mr Albanese answered, ‘‘The current NSW proposal has a number of weaknesses in it, and we are insisting that they be fixed. That is the way you do good infrastructure development: get your business plan in place first and then get your funding commitments made.’’ An economy without a container terminal is hopelessly disadvantaged because world trade for everything except bulk commodities,…

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Federal and NSW government are all talk and no funds – Australian Financial Review

Will $4.4 billion be provided in the federal budget for building stages 2 and 3 of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor to service Moorebank and Port Botany? If not, why is the Australian government promoting Moorebank as an interstate freight hub (“MIC vetoes separate Moorebank terminals”, AFR, January 30)? Are the Australian and NSW governments prepared to acknowledge that private enterprise will use a container terminal at Newcastle to fund a freight rail bypass of Sydney, by railing containers to an intermodal terminal at Eastern Creek, as compared with trucking containers from Port Botany? If not, why is a freight rail bypass…

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NSW rail benefits overstated by flawed analysis – Australian Financial Review

In the article “Rail Freight Analysis Under Fire in NSW” (AFR, January 17) your correspondent Jenny Wiggins quoted my audit of the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) prepared by Deloitte to justify expansion of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor. There is a need to set the record straight regarding the attempts by Transport for NSW to prop up Deloitte’s findings. It claimed the Deloitte analysis was peer reviewed and was prepared “in accordance with relevant guidelines”. But, whether peer reviewed or not, this analysis was not prepared in accordance with relevant guidelines. For example, the NSW Treasury guidelines for economic appraisal do not…

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OPINION: Eight reasons Newcastle should have a container terminal – Newcastle Herald

By GREG CAMERON Jan. 16, 2014, 10:32 p.m. THERE are eight reasons for a container terminal at Newcastle. First, jobs would be created throughout northern NSW when regional firms have decent access to a container terminal for the first time ever. World trade is conducted using containers: no container terminal means no trade and no production for export. A Newcastle container terminal is commercially viable just by serving the northern NSW economy. Second, the road and rail transport network serving Port Botany container terminal is inadequate. When container throughput reaches "natural capacity" of 13 million around 2040, a massive 11 million…

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Freight rail bypass better idea than WestConnex – Australian Financial Review

PUBLISHED: 14 JAN 2014 06:44:27 | UPDATED: 14 JAN 2014 06:44:27 Port Botany container trucks will require 50 per cent of Sydney’s M5 East westbound tunnel’s capacity and 25 per cent of the eastbound tunnel’s capacity when the terminal reaches “natural capacity” of 13 million by 2040. This defeats the purpose of building WestConnex. Increasing the port’s selling price (“The inside story of the astonishing $5.1 billion NSW Ports sale”,AFR, January 3) was achieved by the NSW government abolishing the cap on container throughput, which existed because of inadequate transport infrastructure. Maximum rail capacity is a meagre 2 million containers, while 5.5 million truck movements would be needed…

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The inside story of the astonishing $5.1bn NSW ports sale – Australian Financial Review

PUBLISHED: 03 JAN 2014 PUBLISHED: 03 JAN 2014 PRINT EDITION: 03 JAN 2014 Anthony Macdonald and James Chessell Mike Baird is not a swearer. But the NSW Treasurer must have been tempted to let out an expletive or three when he was told how much Industry Funds Management and three other investors had paid for Port Botany and Port Kembla. It was the morning of April 10 and Baird was in the boardroom of his offices in Governor Macquarie Tower, in the heart of Sydney’s central business district. There is a good view of the harbour from the 36th floor and the…

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Freight rail plan stalled – Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD Dec. 8, 2013, 10 p.m. Aiming to guide the movement of freight across the state for the coming 20 years, the strategy is based on a belief  freight volumes will double by 2031. ‘‘The NSW community expects that any government involvement in the transport network is transparent, represents value for money and avoids unintended commercial consequences and social impacts, such as congestion and noise,’’ the strategy says. But critics said that both  would  remain major problems and  that the government was not doing enough to move containers off roads on to trains and to build dedicated freight rail…

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Ports expert endorses container terminal plan – Newcastle Herald

By   IAN KIRKWOOD Nov. 19, 2013, 10:50 p.m. AN internationally recognised ports expert has endorsed a proposal to shift Port Botany’s container terminals to Newcastle. The chair of Sydney University’s Institute of Transport and Logistics, Professor Michael Bell, said yesterday that the proposal was ‘‘worthy of investigation’’. ‘‘It raises fundamental questions about the future shape of Sydney in particular and NSW in general which should be investigated in a land use and transport study,’’ Professor Bell said. The proposal is the brainchild of former BHP manager Greg Cameron, who was involved with the original plan for a container terminal on…

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Newcastle port study by November: update – Newcastle Herald

By PENELOPE GREEN Sept. 27, 2013, 11:10 a.m. A SCOPING study commissioned by the State Government to assess its plans for the long-term lease of the Port of Newcastle is on track and will be delivered in November. In Newcastle on Friday morning, Treasurer Mike Baird said if approved by Cabinet, the transaction could receive the greenlight before next year’s State Budget. The government is seeking to lease the port for 99 years and use $340 million off the $700 million it expects to earn to build light rail between Wickham and Newcastle. Mr Baird has announced the formation of a…

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When Mike Baird’s IFM ship came in – The Australian

THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 21, 2013 12:00AM Andrew White Associate Editor Sydney MIKE Baird could not believe the figure. It was 7am on Wednesday, April 10, and the NSW Treasurer was already at work on the 36th floor of Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney's CBD. His bright corner office looks north and east, with views over some working parts of Sydney Harbour. Yet Baird's attention was focused to the south. He was closing the sale of leases over Port Botany, Sydney's main trade gateway, and the smaller Port Kembla, 90km down the coast. Eighteen months earlier, Baird had told the NSW parliament…

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No more from port lease – Newcastle Herald

By MICHELLE HARRIS State Political Reporter June 20, 2013, 11 p.m. NEWCASTLE will be unlikely to benefit from further spending if the state government receives more than the $700 million it expects for the lease of its port, with Treasurer Mike Baird saying other communities also need infrastructure. Legislative amendments enabling the 99-year lease of the Port of Newcastle are now before State Parliament's upper house, after the government rushed the measures through the lower house within two days of announcing the proposal in Tuesday's state budget. It is expected to pass with the support of the cross bench ahead of…

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Newcastle Port tipped to be on ‘sale list’ – Newcastle Herald

By  MICHELLE HARRIS State Political Reporter May 27, 2013, 11 p.m. THE Port of Newcastle is bound to be on the state government’s hit list of assets to be privatised to help pay for an $8 billion Sydney train line its top infrastructure advisers don’t support, the opposition says. And Treasurer Mike Baird yesterday refused to rule it out, saying the government would not engage in speculation ahead of the state budget next month. It follows announcements in the last two budgets to privatise the state’s other ports – Botany, flagged in the O’Farrell government’s first budget, then Kembla, announced in last…

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Tide out on port dream – Newcastle Herald

Ian Kirkwood May 1, 2013, 11 p.m. FOR much of the past decade, former BHP Newcastle public affairs manager Greg Cameron has been an unwavering but almost lone voice in support of a container terminal on the former Newcastle steelworks site. Cameron, who left Newcastle for Melbourne soon after the steelworks shut in 1999 and who resides nowadays in Canberra, has devoted countless unpaid hours to his industrial dream. For a while there, Cameron’s view was the official view. When BHP proposed it back in 1997, the state government proclaimed itself an immediate fan. In October 2003, then premier Bob…

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OPINION: Port Botany sale means no container terminal here – Newcastle Herald

By Greg Cameron April 12, 2013, 10:30 p.m. FRIDAY'S Port Botany sale announcement reflects agreement between the Coalition and the ALP that there will never be a container terminal at Newcastle. Consequently, the Hunter and northern regions of NSW will never have the economic benefits that flow from a local container terminal. It is a sad reflection on the quality of the region’s political representation. By selling a 99-year lease to Port Botany container terminal for $4 billion, the NSW government must upgrade the Sydney rail network to carry more freight by rail – at a cost of $4 billion. This…

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Port Botany container sale Newcastle’s loss – Newcastle Herald

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A container terminal: it’s dollars and sense – Newcastle Herald

Author: Greg Cameron Date: 14/03/2013 Words: 846 Source: NCH Greg Cameron argues for a case for the single biggest economic boost to the Hunter since BHP. On Tuesday in federal Parliament, western Sydney backbencher Ed Husic asked the Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese how the government's infrastructure investment plans would help move freight more quickly into Port Botany. Mr Albanese answered: "The current NSW proposal has a number of weaknesses in it, and we are insisting that they be fixed. That is the way you do good infrastructure development: get your business plan in place first and then get…

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Rail bypass mooted – Newcastle Herald

Author: By MICHELLE HARRIS Date: 23/11/2012 Words: 325 Source: NCH A NEWCASTLE rail bypass would be investigated as part of efforts to separate passenger and freight trains and get rid of bottlenecks, under the state's first freight and ports strategy. A draft of the strategy, which is open for comment until February next year, was released this week. The strategy does not specify a route for the bypass, but previous proposals have specified a Fassifern-to-Hexham route. A bypass would remove freight trains travelling through the Adamstown and Islington rail crossings. The strategy also says a proposed fourth coal terminal at…

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NSW Treasurer Mike Baird backs more runways, no new airport for Sydney – Daily Telegraph

ANDREW CLENNELL STATE POLITICAL EDITOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 12, 2012 12:00AM AN ambitious plan to build a fourth and fifth runway at Sydney Airport on reclaimed land in Botany Bay has won the backing of state Treasurer Mike Baird. By declaring it a worthwhile option to break the impasse over a second hub, Mr Baird has radically departed from his boss Premier Barry O'Farrell, who called for Canberra airport to be expanded and linked to Sydney by a high-speed rail network. "We should consider the proposal in detail," Mr Baird said. "It would seem an opportunity to maximise existing infrastructure…

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BHP Steelworks site cleaner: Hunter Development Corporation – Newcastle Herald

By IAN KIRKWOOD Nov. 3, 2012, 4 a.m. Two-thirds of the former BHP steelworks site at Mayfield has been fully remediated, the Hunter Development Corporation said yesterday. Nathan Tinkler’s Buildev Group has an agreement with the corporation to put an industrial park on the remaining third of the site, and remediation of that land would be done at the time of development. Development corporation chairman Paul Broad said remediating the 90-hectare river frontage site was an $80million investment that would pay dividends in the form of future jobs and investment. Mr Broad said 500,000 tonnes of capping had been placed over about…

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Container terminal must wait – Newcastle Herald

Author: By MICHELLE HARRIS State Political Reporter Date: 20/10/2012 Words: 118 Source: NCH NEWCASTLE would not be used as a container terminal until Port Botany and Port Kembla were at capacity, state Parliament has been told. The O'Farrell government introduced legislation on Wednesday to enable the 99-year lease of Kembla and Botany, the proceeds of which are to be spent on infrastructure. At a recent budget estimates hearing, Ports Minister Duncan Gay said the government had not ruled out a container terminal for the Port of Newcastle, despite the privatisation plans. Pressed by Labor over the timeframe, Mr Gay said it "would be in…

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OPINION: Hunter Region transport vision missing – Newcastle Herald

By PAULINE DAVOREN Oct. 16, 2012, 6:23 p.m. RECENT NSW Government transport plans are welcome but fall far short of what is needed for the Hunter Region. The draft NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan, on exhibition until October 26, has failed to provide any detail of the NSW government's vision for transport in the Hunter Region, especially its outer metropolitan and rural areas such as Singleton. The plan proposes yet more plans and strategies. With a population of about 800,000 people (more than the combined population of the ACT and Tasmania), the Hunter Region requires its own transport plan and…

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OPINION: Containers and rail will go well together – Newcastle Herald

By Greg Cameron Oct. 13, 2012, 4 a.m. A Newcastle terminal connected by rail to an intermodal terminal in north-western Sydney can be privately built and financed. The sooner Port Botany container- terminal operations are moved to Newcastle the better it will be for Sydney's road congestion. In 2009, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) reported: "The M5 East is already at capacity and would be operating significantly above theoretical capacity (114 per cent) by 2016 ." By 2018, container-carrying trucks will require up to 15 per cent of the passenger-vehicle-carrying capacity of the M5 East westbound tunnel and 8 per…

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Confusion over Adamstown railway gates future – Newcastle Herald

By  BEN SMEE Civic Reporter Oct. 5, 2012, midnight THE NSW Government says it has no plans to close the troublesome Adamstown gates, despite its transport department’s own draft master plan listing the removal of the level crossing as an ‘‘immediate short-term’’ project. The crossing, where freight and passenger trains cause regular traffic bottlenecks, has been earmarked for an overpass for more than 60 years. The transport department said this week the crossing would be considered when the government completed a transport master plan for the Lower Hunter. For now, traffic should just go around. ‘‘Transport for NSW is investigating ways to…

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What’s big, empty and clogging up Sydney streets? – Sydney Morning Herald

Author: JACOB SAULWICK Date: 29/09/2012 Words: 967 Source: SMH Few topics are as sexless as container movements. Of all the human endeavours, and there are some good ones, packing stuff into big boxes and moving those boxes around would have to be well down the list of thrilling things to spend your time doing, or thinking about. But I'm going to write about containers anyway. There's a lot happening in the world of container movement at the moment. And what's happening says a lot about the type of economy Australia is and is becoming, and has implications for the type of cities we live in. Take…

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Nation wins from fixing Port Botany – Australian Financial Review

Australian Financial Review: PUBLISHED: 12 SEP 2012 12:49:00 | UPDATED: 18 OCT 2012 16:18:34 The Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy aims to boost productivity by making better use of infrastructure. Computer programs, back loading and off-peak pick-ups have cut truck turnaround times. Greater use of rail will help the port reach forecasts without clogging up the road network. The NSW Minister for Roads and Ports has a useful working relationship with the federal Transport Minister. Australia’s biggest city is facing a dilemma made of its own success: either spend billions refitting its port infrastructure, or face decades of price increases…

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Cost of BHP site clean-up still unknown – Newcastle Herald

By MATTHEW KELLY Sept. 3, 2012, midnight THE real social and environmental cost of toxins buried on the former BHP steelworks land would not be known for decades, a chemical engineer who worked on contaminated soil samples taken from the site said. Associate Professor John Lucas was commenting on  Saturday’s Newcastle Herald report that revealed taxpayers would be liable for future problems on the site once BHP’s $100million clean-up payment is gone. The details are contained in a 2001 Environmental Deed, which transfers the liability of the land to the Crown. ‘‘The problem with leaving contamination in place instead of removal…

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BHP steelworks site: pollution time bomb – Newcastle Herald

By MATTHEW KELLY and IAN KIRKWOOD Sept. 1, 2012, 4 a.m. AN environmental deed that BHP Billiton and the state government refused to release under freedom of information shows taxpayers will pay the costs of any problems at the Newcastle steelworks site once BHP’s initial payment of $100million is gone. Environmentalists believe the site is a ticking time bomb,  with most of the hydrocarbons and other potential contaminants still in the ground because the decade-long clean-up has been based on containment rather than removal of toxic materials. BHP handed the steelworks site and four other parcels of land to the state government…

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