The Port Kembla Port Corporation is making a bold bid to utilise land on BlueScope’s property to boost new businesses at the booming port.
The revelation came as the port authority chief executive Dom Figliomeni told Wollongong manufacturing cluster (i3net) members how job generating opportunities would only be restricted by the amount of available land.
Mr Figliomeni described that as the biggest challenge the port faced because almost all the land created by the outer harbour development plan was already accounted for and more interested parties were knocking on the door.
‘‘BlueScope has some capacity there ... so we are saying how do we tap into that? How can we actually work with BlueScope to make that land available for business and for industry?’’
Mr Figliomeni said he had spoken to Chinese businesses interested in iron fines and coal fines.
‘‘All of a sudden they have become valuable products,’’ he said.
‘‘We are also talking to BlueScope to say look, we want to actually access those and we want to look at a project on how we can make it safe ... and we want to export it.
‘‘They [the Chinese] are actually looking at creating quite a few long-term jobs over eight to 10 years.’’
Mr Figliomeni said the region needed to do more to attract investment, which would force government to move on the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.
‘‘But Maldon-Dombarton, apart from a few people who have really been pushing it, hasn’t got that real momentum and that real noise to say to Federal politicians ‘we need that project’.’’
Mr Figliomeni also encouraged i3net members when he said construction of the National Biodiesel and Cement Australia plants were not the only projects presently creating work at the port.
Other opportunities could include a three-stage transport and logistics project that could create jobs for truck drivers and maintenance workers as early as next year.
The two-stage Port Kembla terminal upgrade was generating work and a tender for the demolition of the old timber jetty would go out later this year.
Work on the outer harbour port access road was also expected soon and would coincide with other work on the road and rail interface in the inner and outer harbour.
‘‘We are currently out to market for tenders for a new berth design, for dredging and for further reclamation and from there we will move on to the possible construction of a new berth,’’ he said.
Mr Figliomeni said he had never seen so many cars at the port and said that was creating more jobs at the port and at Kembla Grange where Patrick Autocare was building a new car facility.
Millions of dollars would soon be spent on the construction of new storage sheds, conveyors and ship loaders in the outer harbour where potential bauxite exports from Goulburn could provide another export opportunity.