The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that growth in national mineral and gas exports will lead to significant growth in demand for regional highway, rail and port infrastructure. Improving connections to ports will be essential to supporting these industries.
The Port of Gladstone handled 121.2 million tonnes of imports and exports in 2016–17. The port’s most recent 50-year plan (2012) envisages the port’s capacity will ultimately grow to 250–300 million tonnes per year. The Audit noted that the Port of Gladstone handled around 7.5% of Australia’s total bulk imports and exports (measured in gross mass tonnes) in 2012–13.
Gladstone Ports Corporation has referred to a recent study that identified a number of opportunities to invest in infrastructure to underpin growth in Central Queensland’s mining, export and agricultural sector. These opportunities relate to land and sea access infrastructure designed to support productive supply chains to the Port of Gladstone.
The proposal covers a range of potential projects including:
- channel management to increase export capacity through the port
- upgrades to road and bridge infrastructure that services the port
- new rail infrastructure to provide direct connections from the Surat Basin to the port.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).