The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Townsville Port Expansion Project has been approved by the Federal Government.

The approval of the EIS for the project means that preliminary works on stage one, the $193 million Channel Widening Project, can begin before April 2018, pending a resolution on final funding between the State and Federal Governments.

Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer, Ranee Crosby, said the $1.64 billion, 30-year development plan would ensure the Port of Townsville could expand to allow it to become a globally competitive port.

“After nearly ten years in the planning phase, our team is looking forward to getting works underway to widen the shipping channels into the Townsville Port,” Ms Crosby said.

“The EIS was a very rigorous environmental review and project assessment, so we are delighted to have now received the go-ahead for the project from both the Queensland Coordinator General and the Federal Government.

“Ships are getting bigger and the widening of the channel is absolutely critical to the future viability of the Port of Townsville.

“Bigger ships coming to Townsville will mean lower shipping costs for freight, better connectivity to global trade markets, as well as allowing larger cruise ships to visit the city, which will further boost cruise tourism in the region.

“At the moment Townsville cannot accept ships longer than 238m in length, which by today’s global standards is completely inadequate.”

Port of Townsville will fund $43 million for the Channel Capacity Upgrade, the Queensland Government has confirmed a $75 million funding commitment and has sought a matched $75 million contribution from the Federal Government for the project to proceed. 

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