Rapid development setting Qld ports up for a fall: report

QUEENSLAND has a surplus of ports that will put the state's resource industries at a competitive disadvantage in the future and leave facilities abandoned, a progressive think tank report has found.

But the State Government has dismissed the Centre for Policy Development's report, Too Many Ports in a Storm: The risks of Queensland's port duplication, pointing to new figures that show growth in coal exports that exceed pre-GFC levels.

Report author Laura Eadie, research director for the CPD's sustainable economy program, found Queensland's coal ports were operating at 65 per cent capacity, well below the industry average of 85 per cent, due to accelerated ports growth during the resources boom.

"Surplus port capacity raises fixed costs and further lowers the short term competitiveness of energy exports," Ms Eadie said in the report.

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the state's northern ports had experienced strong year-on-year growth as coal export volumes exceeded pre-GFC levels.

"Compared to last year, we are seeing substantially increased exports at our two biggest coal terminals at Gladstone and Dalrymple Bay," he said.

Read the full story at the Brisbane Times.