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A billion and a half reasons to remove the cap from Port Botany

As reported in Transport & Logistics News, the NSW Government is moving to remove the 3.2 million TEU planning cap on Port Botany.

Treasurer Mike Baird says removing the current cap of 3.2 million container movements will make Port Botany a more attractive prospect for private sector companies bidding for a 99-year lease on the site. The government’s advisers suggested that the cap would lower the lease amount by $1.5b.

“The decision has been taken to remove that cap, but it’s only being done on the basis of the significant mitigants we have put in to remove congestion in that precinct,” Mr Baird said.

The privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla shipping facilities will go ahead, the NSW government has confirmed. Treasurer Baird said the 99-year lease transactions would commence in late 2012, following recommendations from the scoping study.

“We are facing an immense challenge to fund the backlog of critical infrastructure across NSW and more needs to be done to free up the vital funds needed to deliver long-overdue road, school and hospital projects across NSW,” Mr Baird said in a statement.

The lease for Port Botany will also include the Enfield and Cooks River logistics sites. The government expects to raise up to $2.2 billion from this privatisation.

The privatisation of Port Kembla was announced in this year’s budget, with Mr Baird expecting to receive $500 million from the lease. Ironically, the removal of the cap on Port Botany, whilst improving its attractiveness to lessees, will reduce Port Kembla

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