Queensland’s major ports have recorded another strong financial year, moving more than 300 million tonnes of imports and exports, and generating a net profit after tax of $118 million.
Minister for Main Roads Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey, said the result was especially impressive given the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie on critical coal export infrastructure.
“Coal exports through several ports were impacted by the cyclone, mainly due to extended disruption to coal train services,” Mr Bailey said.
“However thanks to our resilience and determination to effect a speedy recovery, the shortfall in coal exports should be recovered during the 2017-18 financial year.
“Queensland ports are integral to the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to promote economic development through delivery of essential infrastructure and services without selling state assets.
“The total combined net profit after tax for these ports for the 2016–17 financial year is about $118 million.
“This represents dividends payable to the government of almost $75 million.”
Mr Bailey said a further $24 million was retained by the Port of Townsville and Ports North to support port development.
“This includes the Townsville Channel Capacity Project which is the first stage of the long-term Port Expansion Project. The Channel Capacity project involves widening of the channel and reclamation to cater for forecast trade growth to support northern Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“This project will provide certainty for the port and regional development, meeting the increasing needs of the north Queensland people into the future.
“At the peak of construction, this project will provide 120 jobs during construction while generating broad economic benefits for the region.
“Queensland’s Government owned ports provide a central role in facilitating trade which creates jobs and investment in the Queensland economy.
“A great example of this contribution to the community is Gladstone Ports Corporation which has invested nearly $3 million into the Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg regions to fund community projects, and provide and maintain community parklands.”
Mr Bailey said in addition to directly investing in local communities the Government owned ports were also significant employers.
“The combine government owned ports had more than 1000 full-time equivalent staff as at June 30 2017, generating additional employment and income for local communities,” Mr Bailey said.