The State Government has signed off on Flinders Ports’ Channel Widening project which will grow South Australia’s economy, drive export growth and support more jobs.
“This is one of the most significant and important private sector investments for the future economic prosperity of South Australia,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.
“Flinders Ports’ Channel Widening project will increase our state’s export capacity which will help grow our economy and create more South Australian jobs.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a strong reform agenda and commitment to grow our exports and create more jobs, and this project complements that goal.
“The global shipping market is continually and rapidly expanding with vessels becoming larger as shipping companies seek further economies of scale, especially since the expansion of the Panama Canal.
“In fact, the number of larger post panamax ships accessing the Port has grown from 185 in 2016 to 268 in 2017 and is expected to reach 312 in 2018 – that’s a substantial increase in activity.
“Despite this growth there is a real risk that containerised trade and cruise shipping will skip Adelaide if we aren’t able to accommodate larger vessels.
“This would have a detrimental impact on South Australia’s economy, hurt our exporters and increase the cost of doing business through increased transport costs if exporters were forced to send their goods interstate before being exported.
“The State Government doesn’t want South Australia to be left behind and miss out on significant export and job opportunities and that’s why we’ve signed off on the Channel Widening proposal.
“This decision means that Flinders Ports will now have to substantially commence works within two years and finish within four years.
“The process will involve dredging some 1.55 million cubic metres of material along seven kilometres of the channel which would then be placed within a designated site approximately 30 kilometres off the coast of the Gulf of St Vincent.
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advised that the disposal at sea option is considered the most effective and environmentally acceptable.
“I have been advised that although some stakeholders have been advocating for land based dumping of this material, it is not the most environmentally suitable option.”