Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Ports is pushing for coal loaders on the former BHP site at Mayfield in Newcastle.
This is despite minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay’s belief that a container and coal terminal can not both be on site, according to the Newcastle Herald.
When the State government body Newcastle Port Corporation (NPC) originally put the plans forward for a multipurpose facility on site, it did not include either a coal loader or terminal for the shipment of coal.
Tinkler’s plan for the development of the site would include a coal loader, conveyor belt, two shipping berths as well as an upgraded rail system.
Estimates put the potential coal exports at between 30 to 60 million tonnes per year.
The coal loader would be built on Hunter Port’s property, with the bulk handling equipment and shipping berths to be leased from NPC.
Hunter Ports would pay approximately $400 million in coal royalties to the state government, based on a 50 million tonne per annum export quota.
The NSW shadow treasurer Mike Baird has recently made calls for a new mining tax for the state to replace the existing royalties scheme, which would see the resources industry in the state hit more than others for revenue.
This has drawn criticism from the Premier Kristina Keneally, who believes it may drive jobs interstate.
Tinkler said the development of this coal loader would help solve capacity problems at the Port of Newcastle.
McKay hit back, saying that she did not “support a coal loader on site because it is too close to Mayfield.”
She went on to say that there was no proposal for a coal loader when the original tender was put forward, and it is about a matter of trust within the community.