The Brisbane Times | 27 November 2013

Operating below industry averages, do we have ‘too many ports’?Laura Eadie, portrait 2012

Coal ports under-used thanks to oversupply

The release of CPD’s recent report ‘Too many ports in a storm’ has raised debate over the future of coal and construction of new coal ports. In The Brisbane Times Cameron Atfield discusses the report by sustainable economy research director Laura Eadie. With ports currently operating at 65% capacity (20% below industry average) a further surplus of ports will be a competitive disadvantage and run the risk of abandoned facilities.

“Ports delivering record coal haul”

A joint statement by Ministers Tim Nicholls and Scott Emerson suggests that the state government is unconcerned at the results of CPD’s research. They claim that coal export growth is strong and are hopeful that this will continue.

If coal’s in trouble, why build more coal ports?

In an opinion piece for The Conversation Laura Eadie explained why coal growth is in trouble, with China planning to cap thermal coal use, seaborne trade growth predicted at 1%, and previous high prices out of the question. Why build more coal ports when the future is in doubt and our current ports are so far below industry averages?

“Encouraging private investment by dredging before port investments are confirmed risks environmental damage for what may turn out to be no good reason. If more development leads to stranded assets, job cuts and budget shortfalls will be a problem for the government not just the private sector.”

Cameron Atfield’s article at The Brisbane Times

Media release by Tim Nicholls and Scott Emerson

Laura’s article at The Conversation


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