Port lease no bar to containers – Newcastle Herald

THE editorial ‘‘Labor gets the point at last’’ (Herald 17/9) infers that a container terminal is lost to Newcastle.

In fact, the Port of Newcastle lease agreement does not prevent development of a container terminal.

Rather, it is prevented by a cap placed on container movements by the NSW government for the purpose of avoiding the need to compensate the Port Botany leaseholder should it lose its monopoly over container movements. The cap can be removed as easily as it was imposed.

Port Botany container terminal operations can be moved to Newcastle and containers railed to Eastern Creek in outer western Sydney by building the much needed rail freight bypass line.

The NSW government gets to keep its $6.8 billion from the port leases. The new rail line is funded by container movements.

Port Botany container terminal site can be used for expanding Sydney Airport.

Greg Cameron,

Florey, ACT