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Revisiting a port of call – Newcastle Herald

REGARDING RDA Hunter’s plans for the region’s economy: The Herald might ask deputy chair John Turner how the Hunter will become a trading powerhouse without a container terminal (“Hunter industry looks to strengthen ties with European union” 7/12). As a state MP, in 2000, he asked then Minister for the Hunter Richard Face: “Does the State Government’s policy concerning the Hunter Advantage Strategy indicate that Newcastle would become the main port on the Eastern Seaboard?

Mr Face answered: “The Hunter Advantage Strategy is a document prepared by the Hunter Regional Development Organisation for the Hunter Development Corporation and it does have the following as one of its long-term objectives for the Hunter Region. The Hunter will be recognised as the import/export gateway for the East Coast.”

Mr Turner further asked: “If so, what would be the role of any minor port facility that may be the subject of any development application for the former BHP site?”

Mr Face answered: “The development of the BHP multi-purpose freight terminal will be an important step in achieving the long-term objective of being recognised as the import/export gateway for the East Coast of Australia.”

The Herald might also ask RDA Hunter to justify the Government charging a fee when container ships use the port, should a container terminal be built.

Greg Cameron, Florey ACT

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