Narrabri Shire producers are set to benefit from proposed upgrades at the Port of Newcastle along with the arrival of Inland Rail. Port of Newcastle will be the first port connected to Inland Rail via the existing Hunter Valley Network allowing longer trains to travel directly to port with reduced travel time, cutting transport costs for local growers.
With upgrades commencing shortly on Culgoora Road, a key transport link for Narrabri Shire, and staff working on the planned Logistics and Industrial Hub, Council will be ensuring local growers can benefit from both Inland Rail and the proposed Port upgrades. Local producers are in a fortunate position to profit from some great competitive advantages with these upgrades saving time and money.
A recent meeting was held with Port of Newcastle CEO, Geoff Crowe, who provided a detailed overview of Port operations and future development and how this could benefit Narrabri Shire. The presentation showed that the Port of Newcastle is Australia’s third largest port and due to its relative proximity to Narrabri Shire is integral to export our local agricultural and resource products to the world. The facility has the capacity to double its existing trade up to 328 million tonnes of product per annum highlighting that there is substantial capacity for expansion.
A majority of product exported from the Port of Newcastle is coal which accounts for 159 million tonnes per annum, although the proposed development will see a growth in containerised commodities such as agricultural product. With more containerised commodities, longer trains and a shorter travel distance to port, the benefits of this development could have great flow-on benefits for our local producers.
Council is working to build strategic ties with logistics networks and key stakeholders such as the Port of Newcastle that could benefit Narrabri Shire growers and assist with planning the Logistics and Industrial Hub. Port of Newcastle is part-owned by Chinese company China Merchants Group and with Council’s upcoming delegation to China to promote the Logistics and Industrial Hub the development of this relationship is an important one to boost export potential.