Charters Towers stock agent Jim Geaney of Geaney’s Livestock and Real Estate says the projected upgrade to the Townsville Port won’t have a significant effect on live export numbers out of town.
The $55 million Berth 4 upgrade has been awarded to local Townsville contractor CivilPlus Constructions.
“There’s already live export out of Townsville, it’s not something new, so I can’t see it having too much of an effect here,” Mr Geaney says.
What the project will have an effect on is jobs in the North.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the upgrade is a part of the State Government’s Accelerated Works Program for North Queensland.
“This work, which is expected to support 100 jobs and take around 18 months, will be undertaken locally by Townsville’s CivilPlus and employ local people,” he says.
“The sooner we get projects like this off the ground, the sooner we can generate more employment opportunities for Queenslanders.”
The upgrade to the capacity of the Port is due to the large growth expected in the trade industry.
Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby says she’s glad the contract had gone to a local company, creating jobs in the region.
“The upgrade will double the capacity of Berth 4, allowing for an additional two million tonnes of product a year,” Ms Crosby says.
“The upgrade will also improve cargo movement through the use of modern handling equipment and improved intermodal transfer of cargo to road and rail.”
Construction is expected to begin on the project next month, with the new facility to be up and running by late 2017.