Nathan Tinkler believes container and coal terminals can coexist on the former BHP site at Mayfield despite Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay’s insistence a coal-loader is not an option.
Mr Tinkler’s company, Hunter Ports, bought 60 hectares of land from Buildev, a company in which he has a stake and the same firm the state government contracted to redevelop the site.
NSW government body, Newcastle Port Corporation, tabled plans for a multipurpose facility that did not include a coal-loader or terminal for the shipment of coal.
Hunter Ports will make a $1billion submission to the state government that will include plans for a coal-loader, conveyor belt, use of two shipping berths and an upgraded rail system to export between 30million to 60million tonnes a year.
The coal-loader would be built on Hunter Ports land and the conveyor belt and berths would be leased from the port corporation.
Hunter Ports would pay about $400million a year in coal royalties to the state government based on exporting 50,000 tonnes a year.
‘‘We have been concerned about capacity problems at the Port of Newcastle for several years and we plan to rectify them by building a world-class, open-access facility that would set new benchmarks for the industry,’’ Mr Tinkler said.
‘‘Coal and container terminals can coexist and both will benefit from rail and infrastructure upgrades associated with the projects, with the main aim to minimise road traffic.’’
Ms McKay said there was no mention of a coal-loader when Buildev won the tender to develop the site and said it was a matter of trust with the community.
‘‘I do not support a coal-loader on that site because it is too close to Mayfield,’’ she said.
‘‘No-one else was told they would have the opportunity to put a coal-loader on the site when it went to tender.’’
Hunter Ports executives said Ms McKay had rejected offers to be briefed on the proposal that would create hundreds of jobs and generate millions of dollars for the industry and supporting sectors in the region.
‘‘Buildev donated to my campaign so I think it is more important any submission is totally transparent,’’ Ms McKay said.