Townsville Port Expansion: Supporting the powerhouse of the North through city deal

The Morrison Government is investing in the future of Townsville, funding an expansion of the city’s port that will create hundreds of jobs and increase trade opportunities for North Queensland. 

Our $75 million investment will ensure the Townsville Port remains globally competitive and capable of hosting large cargo and passenger ships. 

Delivered over six years, the Townsville Port Expansion project will create 120 full time jobs during construction, support 245 ongoing jobs throughout Queensland and provide more than $380 million in benefits over the next 40 years.

We want Townsville to have a port capable of hosting larger cargo and passenger ships, helping to build a stronger economy in North Queensland. 

This Port of Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade project will provide that opportunity and help secure the future for the Port.

The current size of the channel restricts access to the port, forcing larger vessels to bypass Townsville, including cruise ships, limiting North Queensland’s critical role in the supply chain.

Cruise ships carrying more than 3,000 passengers will be able to access the Port of Townsville – up from 1,500 – boosting opportunities for tourism and access to the Great Barrier Reef and outback.

More than doubling the size of container ships which can enter the Port will allow for goods imported and exported and maximise the capacity of existing infrastructure. This will mean reductions in the costs of imported goods on the table in Townsville, and remove up to 8,230 B-Double trucks per year of the roads between Brisbane and Townsville and reduce congestion on our roads and improve safety.

This is yet another example the Coalition Government’s commitment to building a stronger Australia and creating more jobs.

By delivering a strong economy, we are able to invest in projects - like the Townsville Port Expansion - that ensure our regional cities go from strength to strength, and create more opportunities for their households and businesses. 

The Government is committed to its investment of $250 million through Australia’s first City Deal to develop and diversify the Townsville economy. This is a major catalyst for industry and local jobs growth – a key focus for the Government.

The funding committed through the City Deal to the development of the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor will in-part be reallocated to support the Port expansion.

The Government recognises the TEARC business case found the project is not viable at this time. It is important our investments maximise the value for taxpayer dollars and deliver the best economic opportunities for Townsville on the ground.

It is important the TEARC corridor is preserved for future opportunity so it remains part of an integrated infrastructure plan for the region. The Government will support work on corridor preservation, including necessary environmental assessments, with up to $5 million in funding.

The remaining funding will remain in Townsville on other opportunities which will deliver a long term strategy for growth, consistent with the City Deal.

Sam Edwards