News & Media

11 August, 2019

Australian Newsletter - Issue 586

PUSH FOR DARWIN PORT TO BE NATIONALISED TO END CHINESE OWNERSHIP OF STRATEGIC NORTHERN ASSET
Source: Andrew Greene (ABC)
A Labor MP has become the first federal politician to call for the controversial Chinese lease on Darwin Port to be scrapped, so it can be placed back into Australian control. South Australian backbencher Nick Champion is leading the charge to "nationalise" the strategic northern access point, but the ABC has spoken to others across the political divide who share his concerns. "I think there was not enough consideration of the national interest in that particular privatisation of this port," Mr Champion told the ABC. Concerns over Beijing's steady military build-up in the Indo-Pacific region have prompted renewed concerns about the foreign ownership of Australia's northern-most port.  FULL STORY

MORRISON LOOKING AT DETAILS FOR COMMITMENT TO PROTECT SHIPPING
Source: Michelle Grattan (MENAFN)
Scott Morrison has flagged the government is working with the United States and Britain on details for an Australian role in helping safeguard shipping passages in the Middle East. Morrison told a news conference in Townsville on Thursday he had spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday night and 'indicated to him that we were looking very carefully at our participation in this initiative'. Morrison stressed it would be a multinational operation. He said the government had not 'made any decisions on this yet. We want to be fully satisfied about the operational arrangements that are in place'. It was very early days and it would be a while before things came together.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES EXPORTS DRIVE RECORD TRADE SURPLUS
Source: Alex Gluyas (Australian Mining)
Australia has delivered a record full-year trade surplus of $49.9 billion off the back of impressive results from the nation’s resources sector. The record export revenue can be attributed to record years for several commodities, including iron ore ($77 billion), coal ($69 billion), aluminium ($15.6 billion) and copper ($9.9 billion). Iron ore was again Australia’s single largest export revenue for the year. These results drove Australia’s resources sector to account for 58 per cent of the country’s total export revenue in 2018–2019. Australia’s resources exports have doubled over the last 10 years, with $250 billion worth of investment in the mining industry delivering substantial growth in minerals production and jobs in that period.  FULL STORY

OPENING UP NEW AG EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND
Source: Victoria Nugent (North Queensland Register)
A 12-month project will delve into untapped export opportunities in Far North Queensland. The collaboration between the Cooperative Research Center for Developing Northern Australia, Advance Cairns and industry stakeholders aims to identify gaps in existing agricultural supply chains and examine opportunities for FNQ producers to enter new export markets. It is expected the results of the Cairns region export supply chain study will help drive regional planning for several major projects already earmarked for the region, including the Ports North Master Plan for the Cairns Marine Precinct, a Regional Export Distribution Centre business case for Cairns and others.  FULL STORY

GLENCORE MINE COULD BE FORCED TO SELL COAL ONLY TO PARIS AGREEMENT SIGNATORIES
Source: Michael McGowan (The Guardian)
Mining company Glencore could be forced to only sell coal from a new mine in New South Wales to signatories of the Paris climate agreement, under a proposal floated by the state’s independent planning commission. The condition would see approval of the Wambo open-cut coalmine in the state’s Hunter Valley linked to the countries it exports to. But the proposal has prompted a mixed response from environment groups. While some have argued positive repurcussions, others say merely restricting exports to signatories to the Paris agreement will not have any meaningful impact.  FULL STORY

DREAM CRUISES FORCED TO HALT NEWCASTLE SAILINGS
Source: Vanessa Wu (Cruise Passenger)
Dream Cruises announced it was halting the sale of their two November 2019 Newcastle departures on the Explorer Dream due to ‘new biosecurity legislation’. The affected sailings were announced in May as a rare opportunity for locals to start and end a cruise in Newcastle was warmly received. Dream Cruises Vice President Australia and New Zealand, Brigita Devries says, “We have recently been advised by Port Authorities that they are unable to support the disembarkation of passengers and their goods at the Port of Newcastle, due to new Biosecurity Legislation. This contradicts advice we previously received from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.”  FULL STORY

VTA CALLS FOR A SUPPLY CHAIN THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE: PORT OUTLOOK 2019
Source: Trailer Magazine
Leaders from across the freight, ports and supply chain met in Melbourne yesterday to discuss the Victorian ports sector at the Victorian Transport Association’s annual Port Outlook seminar. VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, welcomed delegates at the event and presented the day as an opportunity for professionals from across the supply chain and logistics industry to stay in touch with the activities of the ports in Victoria. Anderson encouraged everyone in the room to connect with each other and to find ways of collaborating. “In our industry, there is little room for error,” he said. “Margins are being squeezed and we are all asking ourselves how can we move more with less? This is where we need to establish a supply chain that works for everyone, regardless of the mode.”  FULL STORY

LIVE SHIPPING MORATORIUM’S EXTENSION CASTS DOUBT
Source: Zach Relph (The West Australian)
Australia’s animal welfare regulator will keep live sheep vessels from leaving port for another three weeks, casting more doubt over the embattled trade’s future. The Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said last week it would extend the three-month live sheep moratorium, poised to end on August 31, until September 22. A live sheep shipping standstill decision for next year is yet to be determined. In a statement, DAWR said the decision to extend the shipping prohibition for Middle East-destined sheep voyages was based on the “best available science and evidence”.  FULL STORY

WA HAILS FREMANTLE RAIL FREIGHT PERFORMANCE
Source: Australian Transport News
Western Australia has seen financial efforts to shift container freight to rail franked, with the state government reporting a 30 per cent increase after a year of subsidy. The overall average in 2018-19 was 20.2 per cent of freight taken by rail to Fremantle Inner Harbour, up from 15.5 per cent just before the subsidy was introduced. "We have now surpassed the freight on rail target set prior to the election and are focused on other road projects that will improve traffic flow to and from the port," transport minister Rita Saffioti says. "The container rail subsidy is just one of several actions being taken to reduce the number of trucks on arterial port roads in the metro area.  FULL STORY

PORTS OF AUCKLAND FIGHTS CLIMATE CHANGE WITH WORLD'S FIRST E-TUG
Source: Chris Hutching (Stuff.co.nz)
Ports of Auckland has signed a contract with Dutch company Damen Shipyards to take delivery of the world's first full-size, fully electric port tug in 2021 as part of its zero emissions policy. The new tug, a Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 will have a 70 tonne pulling power, the same as the port's strongest diesel tug, Hauraki, also built by Damen. It will cost about $18 million. "When we first looked into buying an electric tug in 2016, there was nothing on the market," according to Allan D'Souza, Ports of Auckland's wharf operations manager. "We talked to several manufacturers about building a battery powered tug. They told us we were dreaming.”  FULL STORY

NAPIER PORT IPO FINAL PRICE SET AT $2.60 PER SHARE
Source: Scoop.co.nz
Napier Port announces the final price of its initial public offer (IPO) at $2.60 per share which is at the top of the indicative price range.
Napier Port Chair Alasdair MacLeod says: “Napier Port is pleased with the results of the bookbuild which was significantly over-subscribed with strong support from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand and international investors. This positions Napier Port well for its planned debut on the NZX later this month and for the long term.” Allocations to the priority pool, institutional investors and NZX firms reflected several objectives, including providing a priority allocation to Hawke’s Bay, building a quality register of shareholders to support the Port post-listing and setting the Port up for success in the longer term.  FULL STORY

PACIFICA SHIPPING TO UPGRADE WITH LARGER VESSEL
Source: Pacific Scoop.co.nz
Pacifica Shipping has confirmed that it has acquired a larger 1700 teu vessel for deployment on its premium coastal shipping service in New Zealand.
The MV Moana Chief – which is expected to commence operations formally in September 2019 – will meet growing domestic and international transhipping cargo demand. Pacifica was acquired by The China Navigation Company (CNCo) – parent of Swire Shipping – in 2014. Swire has been a long-term and active participant in New Zealand’s maritime and transport industry. The first Swire vessel called to New Zealand some 130 years ago.  FULL STORY

PORT EXPECTS HALF A BILLION INSURANCE PAYOUT FROM EARTHQUAKE DAMAGES
Source: Roxanne Libatique (Insurance Business Magazine)
CentrePort Wellington is expecting a final insurance payout of half a billion dollars from damages caused by the 2016 KaikĊura earthquake.
CentrePort has already secured $170 million from property damage and has $350 million in the pipeline for material damage. As the port finalises its payouts, the total could balloon to over $500 million due to business interruption claims. Derek Nind, chief executive at CentrePort, said that the whole amount will be used for “repair and replace” works in the port. “We’ll need all of those resources,” he said. Nind confirmed they were working on a multimillion-dollar dredging project that they find “essential” for long-term redevelopment.  FULL STORY

PLANS IN PLACE TO DEVELOP SEA FRONT IN PORT MORESBY
Source: The National PNG
There are plans in place to develop the sea front in Downtown, Port Moresby, including a cruise ship terminal, according to Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH). This is a long term plan, to be developed in the years to come, says KCH chief operating officer Gary Seddon. “KCH is driving a property programme that it is looking at once the area is being rezoned,” Seddon told The National yesterday. The area used to be the old wharf and is now used in storing vehicles including the Maserati’s that were used during APEC last year. “We are looking at developing a new waterfront outlook for the CBD area … the type of foreshore that you would expect to see in a growing and emerging market, that is PNG,” he said.  FULL STORY

SINK OR SWIM: CHINESE PORT PLANS PUT PACIFIC BACK IN PLAY
Source: Jonathan Barrett (Reuters)
Early in the morning, before sunrise, low tide on the Samoan island of Savai’i reveals the remnants of an old American airstrip, washed away by decades of erosion, cyclones and tsunamis. The World War II site in Asau, which also hosts a 1960s-era concrete wharf in its well-protected natural harbor, is being considered for a new port to be developed by China, according to the Samoan government and the area’s highest ranking chief, Masoe Serota Tufaga. The proposed construction of a facility that could be turned into a military asset in hostile times has worried the United States and its regional allies.  FULL STORY

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