Business in a new port but sponsorship stays

Newcastle Knights and Jets major sponsor Hunter Ports has shifted its principal place of business from Newcastle to Queensland.

Hunter Ports, the company behind Nathan Tinkler's rejected $2.5 billion fourth coal-loader bid, is on the list of Tinkler Group companies with creditors seeking unpaid funds.

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed this week that mining contractor Sedgman is owed more than $2 million for work it did on the former billionaire's proposed coal terminal on the old BHP Steelworks site at Mayfield.

Sedgman said it had received some payments and had agreed to a timetable for Mr Tinkler to pay back the rest.

"It's a confidential arrangement between the Tinkler Group and ourselves and we are working with them on that," Sedgman's chief financial officer Ian Poole told The Australian Financial Review.

Hunter Ports was set up in 2010 to drive the coal terminal push that was blocked by the state government in January.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show the company moved its main business address this week from Newcastle to the Tinkler Group's headquarters in Brisbane.

It is the latest in a list of Tinkler-aligned companies, including Patinack Farm, Buildev, Bolkm and Ocean Street Holdings, to have creditors seeking money.

Hunter Ports is the naming rights sponsor of both Mr Tinkler's national sporting organisations. The teams are also the major tenants of Hunter Stadium, which has Hunter Ports signage around the ground on game days.

Hunter Ports managing director Steve van Barneveld is based in Brisbane and also works for parent company International Ports & Logistics.

The phone number listed on the company's website is no longer Hunter Ports' and the address given is a post-office box in Wickham.

A media spokeswoman listed on the website said she had not worked for the company since the start of the year.

The latest Hunter Ports' update on the site was posted in January.

Mr Tinkler's Sydney-based PR spokesman said Hunter Ports still employed "up to" 15 people between Newcastle and Brisbane.

The spokesman said sponsorship of Newcastle flagship NRL and A-League teams was "ongoing" and the company was "working on new proposals".

Mr Tinkler, Matthew Keen and Hunter Sports Group chief executive officer Troy Palmer are the directors of Hunter Ports, and Oceltip Ports Investments is the sole shareholder.

Oceltip Ports Investments, whose company address is also now in Queensland, is owned by a Tinkler family member. The directors are Mr Tinkler and Mr Palmer.

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