The Federal Government is contributing $75 million in funding towards the Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade.

The $193 million project involves widening of the shipping channels to accommodate larger ships and is the vital first stage of works under the $1.64 billion Townsville Port Expansion.

Port of Townsville Limited Chair, Renita Garard, said that the funding announcement by the Federal Government was a significant milestone in the Port’s 154-year history.

“Having certainty that the Port can accept larger ships is a catalyst to attract and retain investment into the region, just as the Port has underpinned economic development and growth of this region since 1864,” Ms Garard said.

Townsville Port is the country’s largest sugar, zinc, lead, copper and fertiliser port and northern Australia’s largest container and automotive port. It is the point of entry and departure for products shipped around the world.

Port Chief Executive Officer, Ranee Crosby, said the channel widening is essential for growth of the Port, ensuring goods produced in the region can get access to the Asia-Pacific and beyond, and that the everyday items people buy like food, clothes and electrical goods find their way onto retail shelves in North Queensland.

“Ships are getting bigger, making channel widening vital. Bigger ships coming to Townsville will mean lower freight costs, better connectivity to global markets, as well as allowing larger cruise ships to visit the city, which will further boost cruise tourism in the region,” Ms Crosby said.

“After more than ten years in the planning, our team is ready to start delivering the biggest investment project in our history.”

The Queensland Government has committed $75 million towards the channel works, and Port of Townsville Limited will fund $43 million.

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