Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007
Parliamentary Record 17
Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 17 October 2007 4869 decreased stoppages and reduced double handling. The Chief Minister has talked about the success of the Darwin Business Park. It is important to note that the significant growth of the East Arm port area has come from large, very successful Australian and international companies. These companies can see that we are continuing to build a very impressive port, the position of which and road and rail services mean real benefits for their business. The $200m East Arm Wharf facility incorporates 754 m of continuous berth space, 18 ha of sealed hard stand, and a 4000 m undercover cargo handling facility. The East Arm port area also includes and an additional 18 ha of bunded area for future reclamation. This expansion to almost double the existing improved area will allow for future strategic growth of both the port and its adjoining business park. The ports traditional market sectors of live cattle exports, offshore oil and gas servicing, and container and general cargo have also continued to grow during the year. Live cattle exports are expected to continue to increase and, with increased exploration and production activity in the Timor Sea, we predict the servicing sector is set for a very busy year ahead. The recent commissioning of a new bulk handling facility at East Arm has also facilitated the trade of bulk materials through our port. This is a further significant investment by this government of $24m. On 28 September, I had the pleasure of hosting a luncheon for representatives of Territory Resources, the Noble Group based in Hong Kong, and Tianjin Iron and Steel based in China, to celebrate the first shipment of iron ore from the Frances Creek Mine since Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Iron ore was previously mined at Frances Creek from 1966 to 1974 and transported to Darwin on the old North Australia Railway line. A combination of increased prices for iron ore, the completion of the Alice Springs to Darwin railway, and the construction of the new bulk handling facilities at East Arm Wharf have made, once again, the mining of iron ore economically viable. Territory Resources commenced stockpiling iron ore at East Arm stockpile site with the first railway consignment on 18 July this year. This was in preparation for the first export from Darwin in 33 years. On 25 July this year, the panamax class vessel - named because they are the largest vessel able to transit the Panama Canal - the MV Yerotsakis arrived in Darwin Harbour to transport the first shipment of iron ore. The Yerotsakis is the largest vessel to call at East Arm Wharf. The ship has an overall length of 225 m, a beam of 32 m, and is capable of transporting 67 000 tonnes of iron ore. Territory Resources will export around 1.5 million tonnes of iron ore from Frances Creek to China in the first year. It is expected to increase this to three million tonnes within 18 months. The export of iron ore follows on from manganese exports to China from the Bootu Creek Mine near Tennant Creek. The first shipment of manganese commenced in May 2006, with around 650 000 tonnes per annum being exported. These exports show the benefits of investing in our infrastructure and establishing trade relations with our northern neighbours. The Port of Darwin was recently nominated as the preferred export port for Oxiana Limiteds export of copper concentrate from their Prominent Hill mine south-east of Coober Pedy in South Australia. FreightLink and the Western Australia company Giacci Brothers, have won a 10-year contract to transport copper concentrate from the Prominent Hill mine to the Port of Darwin. These represent something of a coup and certainly took the industry by surprise, as many industry analysts were expecting the Oxiana mine to freight its ore south to the Port of Adelaide. From July next year, we will see up to 240 000 tonnes per annum of copper concentrate transported to Darwin on the Adelaide to Darwin railway and then loaded onto ships for export to copper smelters in Asia. The awarding of this contract to FreightLink shows the value of the Adelaide to Darwin railway to the expanding resources sector. Construction has commenced on a rail spur to the port and a 3200 m2 copper concentrate storage shed on East Arm. Securing the Oxiana business was an important milestone in the development of the AustralAsia Trade Route and confirmed the Port of Darwin as the northern gateway for mineral exports. The emergence of these bulk mineral trades may not have been so successful without the vision of this government to invest in the $24m bulk materials handling system at East Arm Wharf. This development not only helped encourage regional mining development in the Territory, but it has also secured bulk customers from a wider field, and we believe it will continue to do so in the future. This means increased export revenue, development of the Territory and, importantly, jobs for Territorians. The first export of biodiesel left the Port of Darwin in August this year. The tanker, Chemstar Venus, was loaded with 55 300 barrels of biodiesel from the Natural Fuels Australia plant at the Vopak terminal bound for markets in Asia and the United States. This is expected over time to become a regular export as Natural Fuels builds
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