Private investment needed for Australian ports

20:12, July 13, 2010      

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Premier Anna Bligh said on Tuesday more private investment is needed to free up bottlenecks at Queensland's shipping ports.

A confidential Rio Tinto briefing warns that the capacity of the Dalrymple Bay loading facility, near Mackay, will be short by up to 17 million tonnes of coal contracted to be shipped through it this year, The Australian newspaper reports.

The average ship is waiting 35-40 days off the coast until it can use the facility, racking up thousands of dollars in costs at anchor, the newspaper noted.

Bligh said a new rail project would give coal companies alternative ports to choose from and building a new port at Dudgeon Point was being investigated.

"Queensland has an unprecedented opportunity to export to the world and to do that effectively we need a comprehensive rail system and an expanded port capacity," she said.

"All of that requires massive investment. I want the private sector, through the coal companies and other investors, to be putting money into those sorts of initiatives."

Bligh said the projects supported private companies and therefore should be paid for by private investment, freeing the government up to invest in passenger networks.

Source: Xinhua


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