Port Kembla costs raised

Wollongong councillor Vicki Curran has called on the NSW Ports Consortium to pay for public infrastructure upgrades, such as the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, needed as part of the proposed Port Kembla harbour expansion.

In early April, the private consortium that leased Port Kembla revealed plans to quadruple the size of the approved outer harbour development.

The NSW Ports Consortium said it hoped to handle 16 million tonnes of bulk cargo a year, up from a previously approved 4.25 million tonnes at its multi-purpose cargo wharf.

When the Mercury reported the story, NSW Ports chief executive at Port Kembla, Dom Figliomeni, said investment in the outer harbour project, previously estimated to be about $700 million, would not increase dramatically as the modifications were designed to make better use of the existing plans.

On Monday, Cr Curran said the Port Corporation must pay for improvements to public infrastructure which would come under stress as a result of the proposed modification.

"There should be a requirement for them to ... develop the infrastructure in line with the port expansion," she said.

"An expanded port won't have the necessary infrastructure to fully utilise the expansion."

Cr Curran said it was vital for NSW Ports to pay for the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, identified as vital for the modification.

The Mercury contacted Mr Figliomeni, however, he said he would not be commenting on whether NSW Ports would consider paying for infrastructure costs associated with the proposed development.

He also refused to comment on whether the modification was being paid for by NSW Ports or the state government.

A NSW government spokeswoman said there was no government element to the expansion.

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