Funding for vital crane to open Gladstone port to freight

A GANTRY crane identified as critical to opening up Port Curtis to freight is still on the radar for Gladstone Ports Corporation with a $400,000 funding boost to progress plans.

The Master Plan Priority Port of Gladstone 2018 identified the need for gantry cranes to

“provide for cargo and material handling, storage and transport of goods within the port.”

The significance of this was classified as “critical for ongoing efficiency of port operations”.

As part of the $29.5 million East Shores 1B redevelopment, a cruise terminal was constructed, which resulted in a number of cruise ships berthing at Gladstone in 2019 and 2020.

This development attracted controversy from some circles, who believed a container crane would have delivered more economic benefits for Gladstone, the Queensland Government and ultimately the owners of the Gladstone Ports Corporation, Queensland taxpayers.

As a government-owned corporation, it is the responsibility of the GPC executive and board to deliver the best possible economic returns to the government and people of Queensland.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has announced $400,000 toward GPC procuring a crane.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering our plan for economic recovery to create jobs and to keeping our ports in public ownership,” Mr Bailey said.

“Our Maritime Jobs policy announced at the recent election will help reinvigorate coastal shipping in Queensland, including by helping to establish an intrastate coastal shipping service and supporting investment in shoreside infrastructure like cranes.

“Part of the maritime jobs commitment included $400,000 to support the development of a business case for a portainer crane at the Port of Gladstone.

“I’ve asked Gladstone Ports Corporation to renew its efforts to procure a shoreside crane and assess the commercial demand for the infrastructure.

“I look forward to seeing the delivery of GPC’s significant capital program which will further support trade throughput and jobs across regional Queensland.”

Gladstone Port Central at Auckland Point is where GPC is looking at installing a crane for the movement of container freight.
Gladstone Port Central at Auckland Point is where GPC is looking at installing a crane for the movement of container freight.

GPC called for tenders to operate a Port Harbour Crane, which closed on June 13 last year.

“Gladstone Ports Corporation invites the Bidder to submit a proposal for the Provision of Port Harbour Crane Auckland Point Wharf #4 – Port of Gladstone,” the tender stated.

A GPC spokeswoman said the proposal was still progressing.

“GPC has publicly sought expressions of interest for the provisions and operation of a harbour crane for the Port Central precinct,” the spokeswoman said.

“GPC is continuing its discussions with stevedores such as those who own and operate harbour cranes in other ports.

“Gladstone Ports Corporation continues to advocate and be highly active in leading, supporting and funding activities to support improvements to infrastructure well beyond the boundaries of strategic port land.

“GPC continues to facilitate prosperity for others that trade through our ports, with a desire to create success for our communities, Queensland and Australia.

“GPC is actively working to expand on the knowledge and opportunity of the freight task with a number of bodies including the Gladstone Regional Council, Department of State Development and Trade and Investment Queensland to enable data based decision-making.”

The spokeswoman said the Cruise Passenger Terminal was part of the East Shores 1B redevelopment, a commitment to the community to extend the foreshore access.

“As part of the 50-year strategic plan, the $29.5 million foreshore redevelopment was a State Government-backed project, which stimulated the region’s economy with 28 local subcontractors engaged throughout the project,” the spokeswoman said.

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