$30b Gladstone port expansion plans not over the line
THE man behind a proposed $30 billion Gladstone port expansion says he is “not leaving the city until the leases are signed.”
Inter Port Global CEO Desmond Euen has been meeting with key stakeholders, working to bring his plan, touted since at least May 2017, to fruition.
“I’ve been to Gladstone several times before and this time I’m not leaving until the leases are signed,” Mr Euen said he told his wife, who lives in Sydney, on the phone.
Mr Euen said his plan would harness the development potential of land in the Gladstone region, linked with rail on the national freight network, to transform the port into a freight hub.
Sites earmarked in the plan, Mr Euen said, included Auckland Point and Hamilton Point, on Curtis Island, all part of the 23,000 hectare Gladstone State Development Area.
“The precinct will be the largest special purpose precinct ever built in Australia supported by state-of-the-art fully integrated multimodal freight corridors linked to all major economic growth regions throughout eastern Australia,” he said.
“The Inter-Port Global Pty Ltd strategic plan underpins the Queensland Government and Gladstone Regional Council’s agenda for future growth and continued economic evolution of the Gladstone region.”
“In line with the Queensland Government’s 30-year blueprint for statewide economic and population growth, the large-scale development will provide the core elements of infrastructure required by key maritime industries, transport and supply chain logistics providers, heavy industry and ancillary support based services.”
Mr Euen told The Observer Gladstone is in a unique position as it has the land available to allow a freight corridor to be expanded, unlike other capital cities including Brisbane and Sydney.
A transport industry veteran who began driving trucks in his teens, Mr Euen visited Gladstone in 2018 with a similar proposal.
“Building on Gladstone regional assets in the national interest” is the title of one page in his 26-page report provided to The Observer.
“The development plan focuses on providing sustainable pre and post direct and indirect employment growth covering five key industry sectors: construction, port services, transport/distribution, manufacturing and agriculture,” the reports states.
“Planning for stage 1 of the I-PG shipping, land transport and freight distribution interface is currently in progress with Gladstone Ports Corporation.”
A GPC spokeswoman said Mr Euen and the GPC were not on the same page with their visions.
“Any representations made by Mr Euen do not represent the views of GPC,” the spokeswoman said.
“GPC can confirm that it has met with Mr Euen however, is unable to comment any further on Mr Euen’s business.
“GPC continues to promote and support trade opportunities for the region as part of our ongoing commitment to growth and prosperity for Central Queensland.
“GPC’s focus remains firmly on securing GPC’s position as the premier multi-commodity port in Australia.
“With Central Queensland on the verge of unprecedented opportunity, GPC will continue to ready the region to take full advantage of the future and is open to discussions with investors for the development of Port Central.”