Port overhaul announced

The Queensland Resource Council has reacted cautiously to an overhaul of Queensland’s port authorities announced recently by the State’s Treasurer Andrew Fraser.

The Queensland Resource Council has reacted cautiously to an overhaul of Queensland’s port authorities announced recently by the State’s Treasurer Andrew Fraser.

Acting QRC chief executive Greg Lane welcomed the promise of improved customer focus from a proposed North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation headquartered in Mackay. However, he said the mining industry’s acid test of the restructuring would be port throughputs that anticipate industry demand.

“The commercial acumen and customer service skills of the new corporation’s board and management team will inevitably determine the success or otherwise of the restructure,” he said.

“While it is seen as desirable for service providers such as port managers to be close to their customers, physical proximity is not a substitute for a culture of commitment to meeting customer needs.

“Another test for the state government will be its ability to attract high calibre and experienced board members to the new corporation, bearing in mind that it is a critical component in the supply chain for the export industries underpinning the Queensland and Australian economies.”

According to Lane, Billions of dollars of export income are at stake, not just for QRC members, but also in flow-on benefits for the whole State.

Lane also welcomed recent comments by the Townsville Port Authority confirming its intention to continue operating as the primary port for mineral exports from North West Queensland.

“Recent statements from the port authority’s chief executive regarding expansion plans have been welcomed by a number of mineral exporters in the North West,” Lane said.

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