Transformational Port infrastructure investment for the North West Coast


A re-elected majority Gutwein Liberal Government will fast-track investment of $385 million for the largest port development program in Tasmania’s history that will be a game changer for the North West economy.

This will deliver increased passenger and freight access, supporting growth for our island economy.

These transformational projects will create up to 2700 jobs during construction and inject over $236 million into our economy through increased trade, mining royalties, and tourism.

Port of Devonport

We will invest $240 million to redevelop the Port of Devonport to significantly increase capacity for both freight and vehicles, and facilitate future growth.

We expect this historic $240 million investment will generate up to 1,700 jobs during the five-year construction phase, providing a massive stimulus for jobs and investment in Tasmania’s North West.

It will allow for greater volumes of container freight, and two significantly upgraded terminals to accommodate new vessels, increased freight capacity and passenger numbers.

It will also provide a 40 per cent increase in overall capacity to the port, which will deliver an additional $36 million into the Tasmanian economy through increased trade, and an additional $200 million into our visitor economy.

What this means is more freight, more passengers and more jobs for the North West Coast, with a 40 per cent increase in capacity to the port that will deliver an additional $36 million into the Tasmanian economy through increased trade.

It will provide the ability for operators to handle an additional 85,000 20-foot equivalent containers (TEU) per annum, boosting capacity by 25 per cent, and an additional 7,000 freight cars, increasing capacity by 20 per cent.

Importantly, the project is shovel ready and right to commence in June 2021, subject to the re-election of a majority Liberal Government, with completion expected in December 2026.

Port of Burnie

We will also fast track a $145 million upgrade of the Port of Burnie, with a $5 million commitment to allow TasPorts to progress detailed engineering designs and ensure a business case can be presented to Infrastructure Australia by August this year.

This will transform it into a dedicated Bulk Export Terminal, increasing capacity for larger vessels to berth at the port and ensuring the terminal infrastructure is fit for purpose.

Stage 1 of the project includes:

  • Major dredging to create infrastructure to accommodate larger vessels of 65,000 to 85,000 tonnes.
  • Development of bulk export terminal infrastructure, including mobile crane reclaimers, conveyors, contemporary port stockpile facilities, undercover storage capability and road and transport optimisation.

This will enable increased capacity for larger vessels to berth at the port and will ensure fit-for-purpose terminal infrastructure.

This is expected to generate up to 1,000 jobs during the construction period, across a five-year period, providing another massive boost to jobs and the North West economy.

Additionally, and to accommodate future growth of up to 10 million tonnes of mineral export, a second phase to the project (Stage 2) has been scoped and will include:

  • The creation of a new deep-water berth (Berth 8) to accommodate vessels up to Cape size (18.8 metre draft), at a DWT of 125,000 to 200,000 tonnes.
  • Reclamation of land to build a multi-commodity terminal with ship loading capability for minerals (bulk and concentrate), forestry and international containers.

When completed, the redevelopment will enable 1.5 to 2 million tonnes of iron ore bulk mineral export per annum to be unlocked, generating an estimated additional $3.5 million in mining royalties.

Building more efficient port facilities will also support a significant uplift of throughput, enabling an increase in capacity by up to 22 additional sailings per annum, at 70,000 tonnes per vessel.

The Business Case for this project will be completed before 1 August 2021 when it will be submitted to Infrastructure Australia for consideration, and will commence as soon as they confirm their support.

The Burnie Export Gateway Project was endorsed as a Priority Initiative on the latest Infrastructure Australia Priority List, recognising the importance of this project to the economy.

The policy can be found here.