NSW Premier Morris Iemma today announced that Planning Minister Frank Sartor had given development consent for plans that will make Port Kembla Australia's leading car import centre.
"The final stage of the $140 million expansion of Port Kembla now has a green light to proceed," Mr Iemma said.
"I am pleased that the NSW Government has been able to get this important project moving in just six months since the final phase of the expansion was announced.
Mr Iemma also announced today the Port Kembla Port Corporation had awarded the contract for construction of the new Number 3 berth to national construction company the Georgiou Group.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May on the 290-metre berth which will be a key element of the harbour's transformation into the vehicle importing hub for NSW.
"The new berth is an innovative bulkhead design, which offers flexibility for berthing options for the various kinds of vessels used in the vehicle transporting trade.
"It will also be able to handle other cargo operations, with the strength to handle extremely heavy loads.
"This is the latest step in a process which began three years ago and which will eventually secure 1000 direct and indirect jobs for the Illawarra economy," Mr Iemma said.
This approval includes:
- The cargo storage and motor vehicle processing and storage facilities;
- Construction of multi-purpose berth no.3 and associated dredging;
- Development of eastern basin berth no.4 and associated dredging; and
- Easterly extension of existing multi-purpose berth by 80 metres.
"This work will allow Port Kembla to handle more than 240,000 motor vehicles per year as well as increased container handling and general cargo.
"The plan is for car imports to be relocated to Port Kembla from Sydney's Glebe Island from late 2008."
"I am delighted these works have received formal approval so that the $140 million Port Kembla expansion can proceed," Minister for the Illawarra David Campbell said.
"This latest formal consent for the remaining works will enable Port Kembla to handle 55,000 tonne, 12 storey vessels, which are some of the world's biggest car carrying ships," Mr Campbell said.
The construction contract is a major component of the $45 million Multi-Purpose Berth No.3 project.
The project also involves two other contracts for dredging work and the supply of 405 steel piles.
Multi Purpose Berth No.3 will accommodate roll-on, roll-off vehicle-transporter vessels and general cargo ships.
The move will mean approximately 250 additional vessels visiting Port Kembla annually, taking the number close to 900 per year by 2008.
Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay said Port Kembla had the land and infrastructure for the development and welcomed formal approval for the expansion.
"All of the Illawarra's MP's are working hard to ensure that the works at Port Kembla remain on track and I thank Minister Sartor for granting this development consent," Ms Hay said.
"This project was assessed under the State Government's new major projects planning laws, because of its economic significance.
"Under these laws, the expanded upgrade was approved efficiently and now this important development can proceed with minimal delay."
April 20, 2006
News Release: Premier of New South Wales, Australia