Port breaks record throughtput levels

ONCE again throughput at the port of Gladstone has reached record levels.

Figures from the last financial year have shown a massive 3.4 million tonne increase, with a total of 63.1 million tonnes of material handled in the 2004/05 financial year.

Port Alma near Rockhampton also saw a massive increase of throughout during the past 12 months with tonnage doubling from 68,562 to 143,849.

The increase at Port Alma took place since the ownership change which placed it under the same banner as the port of Gladstone ? the newly formed Central Queensland Ports Authority (CQPA).

CQPA acting chairman Peter Corones said the growth of the local port was another in-dication of its importance to Queensland's exports.

'It just keeps going ahead in leaps and bounds,' Cr Corones said.

However with simultaneous expansions at the RG Tanna and Barney Point terminals, Cr Corones predicted bigger things were yet to come.

'It's exciting times for the Port of Gladstone and I think also for Port Alma in association with Gladstone,' Cr Corones said.

However Cr Corones stopped short of attributing Port Alma's success to coming under the CQPA banner.

'There is still a business plan being done for Port Alma and that hasn't been finalised yet, so I would say it is probably more a case of increased demand for the products that go through Port Alma,' Cr Corones said.

Queensland Transport Minister Paul Lucas said the Port of Gladstone's performance not only helped exports on a global scale, but also helped to create local employment.

'Ports such as Gladstone, one of the largest coal-exporting facilities in the world, make a significant contribution to the regional and state economies, and help to generate new jobs,' Mr Lucas said.

'Traders require an efficient transport system, and by being part of the state's economic frontline the Central Queensland Ports Authority shows how this is achieved.'

The current expansions at local ports will ultimately lift capacity to more than 70 million tonnes by 2007.



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