National plan for port development welcomed

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24 October 2008 -

The chairman of Port Kembla Port Corporation, Nicholas Whitlam, today gave his support to the findings of the recent coastal shipping inquiry which recommended the development of a national port development plan.

Federal Parliaments Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government tabled its report on Monday on the Inquiry into Coastal shipping policy and regulation.

Port infrastructure issues have been discussed throughout the course of the inquiry with a focus on the ability of ports to respond to an increase in coastal shipping activity'? said Mr Whitlam.

Mr Whitlam said he was pleased to see that the report recognises that port infrastructure is of national significance, and welcomed the development of a national plan which would be used to direct funding to critical port infrastructure projects.

'A plan such as this will not only address issues relating to Australia's export capacity but also our ability to respond to a potential growth in coastal shipping'? said Mr Whitlam.

The report highlighted the fact that a strong domestic shipping industry can assist in the alleviation of land transport bottlenecks, infrastructure constraints and some adverse environmental impacts of land transportation as well as providing economic benefits derived from the creation of local employment and the growth of maritime services.

Port Kembla Port Corporations CEO Dom Figliomeni said that the economic benefits of coastal shipping are something that can be harnessed for not only the Illawarra region but the state of NSW.

The cost and efficiency of coastal shipping has important economic consequences which affect the profitability of many industries, including exports?. With the preparation of a Master Plan to guide the future development of the Outer Harbour, Port Kembla is well positioned to take up opportunities provided by coastal shipping and we welcome the opportunity to participate in this important policy development.

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