Logistic Developments


Develop ports into logistics hubs that support regional growth

Our ports are critical gateways facilitating trade between Queensland and other parts of Australia, and the world. NQBP is committed to ensuring each of our ports is well equipped with the necessary infrastructure and facilities to allow us to maximise existing trade commitments, and to make way for future growth and demand, including new trade opportunities.

Develop Mackay’s property portfolio to include an integrated transport logistics and trade precinct

During 2015-16, the downturn in Mackay’s regional economy impacted lease renewals at the Port of Mackay; the property market within Mackay’s Paget Industrial Precinct underperformed, and the economic climate contributed to limited opportunities for new commercial operations to establish at the Port of Mackay.

In 2016-17, NQBP will continue to actively promote the benefits of commercial operations locating at the Port of Mackay, particularly as an integrated transport logistics and trade precinct.

Increasing trade through all the ports is a key focus for NQBP and the corporation will continue to pursue this in 2016-17.

Drive multi-modal investment and upgrades to marine, rail and road networks

NQBP is committed to working with key stakeholders to improve transport infrastructure and maximise port access.

Previously rated at 15.75 tonnes per axle load (tal), the Erakala to Mackay Harbour rail line and grain rail loop’s capacity at the Port of Mackay has been confirmed by Queensland Rail to be 20 tonnes tal, equating to a material improvement of 27 per cent, and allowing for an increase in the potential to haul cargo to and from the port. The line’s capacity now matches the main north coast rail line capabilities and these improvements will increase the potential future viability of trade-related rail transport to and from the Port of Mackay as an alternative to road transport. Port of Mackay users, Aurizon and Wilmar have also negotiated rail track upgrade works to support the railing of raw sugar from Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill to the port.

During the financial period, NQBP welcomed the inclusion of an upgrade and relocation of Vines Creek Bridge as part of the State Government’s Accelerated Works Program. The $28 million transport project will allow heavy vehicles to travel to and from the port, boosting economic activity.

In addition, NQBP will continue to work with a number of vessel operators to assess the viability of either a coastal shipping service or a liner service, involving Mackay.

Actively market the Port of Mackay

The Port of Mackay is an integral gateway to trade for the Mackay and Central Queensland region. NQBP’s commitment to grow the Port of Mackay, as a port with existing capacity for growth, will continue to be a key part of our work into the future.

In 2015-16, our strategic marketing and communication approach included developing editorial and advertisements for key industry publications, as well as factsheets for commercial opportunities and business summits.

NQBP also presented a flyover video of the port at a number of forums including the Resource Industry Network in Mackay and to clients and potential customers.

Oversized, overmass (OSOM) transport corridor

Extensive work has already been undertaken with relevant government agencies and industry representatives to optimise Mackay’s OSOM heavy vehicle transport corridor.

A significantly increased and cost effective travelling height envelope has been identified and NQBP will continue to work with Federal and State agencies (including Ergon Energy) to progress this initiative and secure the required funding.

Deliver a logistics improvement program to improve trade access to all ports

A key business effort during the period was to increase NQBP’s supply chain knowledge, particularly in the Mackay region.

A first draft of a supply chain map of the Central Queensland Region was completed during the year to identify natural trade catchments and the impact of supply chai constraints and government road upgrades on trade through NQBP ports.

The initial findings demonstrated that the trade catchment, based on current transport combinations, for Mackay encompasses the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions. Moving forward, emphasis will be on identifying and realising marine operating efficiencies (vessel size and capacity) as well as seeking further improvements to land transport developments.

Establish logistics support for the Amrun Project and live cattle trade at Port of Weipa

NQBP is pursuing opportunities to provide project and breakbulk cargoes needed to support the development of Rio Tinto’s Amrun Project. While the project was approved in November 2015, the construction phase is expected to continue over the next few years.

Planning and work around establishing logistics such as lease arrangement and approvals as well as identifying additional lay-down capacity within the strategic port land in Weipa is continuing.

NQBP is also working to identify further opportunities for growth at the port. A recent investigation into opportunities within the cattle industry in the Cape is underpinning discussions with local farmers and industry bodies around the viability of cattle trade through Weipa.

Port of Hay Point


The Port of Hay Point is one of the largest coal export ports in the world. The port comprises two separate coal terminals: Hay Point Coal Terminal (HPCT) and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT). These terminals service coal mines in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin, and are linked to the mines by an integrated rail-port network. The port primarily exports metallurgical coal, a key resource in the steel-making process.


The total throughput for the port for 2015-16 was 115,768,354 tonnes comprising 67,517,529 tonnes through DBCT and 48,250,825 tonnes through HPCT.

NQBP supports terminal operations through the provision of pilotage services, coordination and management of dredging requirements, maintenance of the tug harbour and water and waste management. NQBP also provides support services for the management and maintenance of common access areas and other shared services including buffer land and dust monitoring.

Performance and Achievements

HPCT achieved record throughput for the financial year – a direct result of improved export capacity – against a backdrop of challenging commodity markets and economic conditions.

In December 2015, BHP Billition Mitsubishi Alliance opened a third berth (HPX-3) lifting export capability from 44 mtpa to 55 mtpa.

DBCT throughput was down 5.6 per cent on last year as a result of a challenging resource market. A positive development against this tough backdrop, was the re-opening of the Stanmore Coal Mine Isaac Plains. Shipments from this mine commenced through the port in May 2016, and are expected to be ongoing.

Pilotage services remained a key focus at the port with a number of efficiencies and safety improvements implemented during the year, including the transition to bow-to-bow towage. NQBP marine pilots also commenced boarding vessels half an hour earlier to allow terminal operators to bring forward ship loading, leading to an increase in the port’s available productivity.

A total of 1,133 bulk carriers visited the port during 2015-16, an increase on the prior year.

During the year, NQBP also completed the first stage of a community project to transform strategic port land into a landscaped park and buffer area. Sustainability and innovation were key drivers, allowing NQBP to provide back to the community. Additional phases of the project will continue to be delivered over the next three years and will involve continued planting of native seedlings, improved beach access, pathways and picnic facilities.


As port authority, NQBP will continue to support terminal operators and owners in meeting future export demand, as challenging commodity market and economic conditions currently being experienced by the mining industry are expected to continue.

Significant works on the Hay Point Marine Offloading Facility is currently under way. This project was announced under the Queensland Government’s Accelerated Works Program in January 2016 and will support port operations into the future. NQBP has commenced the maintenance and renewal of the Tug Harbour, which was originally constructed in 1982 and this work will continue in 2016-17.

Port of Mackay


The Port of Mackay consists of four berths within a harbour sheltered by breakwaters. Major commodities traded through the Port of Mackay include fuel, grain, raw sugar and sugar products.

Land areas behind the port accommodate more than 100 industrial and commercial businesses with substantial areas of vacant land suitable for further development. The proximity to mines in the Bowen and Galilee coal basins, as well as other major regional infrastructure projects and agricultural enterprises, positions the Port of Mackay as an ideal supply chain partner.


In 2015-16, the port handled 164 ships carrying a total of 2,829,464 tonnes.

  • Throughput 2015-16
  • Throughput 2014-15

Performance and Achievements

While 2015-16 throughput was down compared to the previous financial period, the Port of Mackay’s key trades have been relatively steady, with fuel imports up marginally and sugar exports up by 6 per cent amid the fluctuations in commodity demand and prices.

Throughout the year, NQBP continued to focus on developing opportunities for growth at the port, with initiatives implemented to support and strengthen the customer experience and the expansion of trade opportunities. A number of changes to lease arrangements were implemented throughout the year in support of long-term plans for the port and to improve access to services for port tenants, including:

  • Providing GrainCorp with access to NQBP services including unloading/offloading, storage and rail facilities, as part of a renewed long-term tenure agreement. The water line to the GrainCorp lease site was also upgraded, allowing emergency response infrastructure to be improved in line with industry standards
  • NQBP negotiating with Northern Stevedoring Services for the installation of a Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources approved wash down facility and Quarantine Approved Premises. To be completed in August 2016, the new facilities will accommodate containers as well as large heavy machinery and vehicles used for mining and agricultural purposes.

This financial period, focus was also given to ensuring future master plans and initiatives work to realise the port’s full potential. Vacant land adjacent to the rail lines has been identified as potential sites with strategic value for future development.

NQBP also continued to explore new opportunities to increase trade through the port, with a focus on breakbulk cargo associated with the coal mining and agricultural industries and Pacific Island nation trade opportunities in conjunction with Austrade and Trade and Investment Queensland. Increasing trade remains a key focus for NQBP and the corporation will continue to pursue this in the coming year.


Significant investment from the private and public sectors in recent years has helped to underpin the Port of Mackay’s flexibility, capacity and capability to attract increases in regional trade through the port, despite the current subdued economic climate being experienced regionally.

Significant investment from the private and public sectors in recent years has helped to underpin the Port of Mackay’s flexibility, capacity and capability to attract increases in regional trade through the port, despite the current subdued economic climate being experienced regionally.

NQBP will continue to work with the relevant government bodies to increase the height for the heavy vehicle oversize overmass (OSOM) freight movements involving Mackay port, Paget Industrial Precinct and the regional coal mining areas.

An assessment of NQBP’s road network at the port has also identified potential productivity improvement initiatives to increase the attractiveness of the port to existing and potential port tenants/users and these will be further reviewed in 2016-17.

NQBP will also look to obtain an Environmentally Relevant Activity approval for a common user site inside the port secure area that will allow for the handling of bulk material products such as magnetite, sand, woodchips and grain. This will provide NQBP with the flexibility to handle “one-off” trade opportunities through the port.

Port of Abbot Point


The Port of Abbot Point is Australia’s most northern coal export port and one with remarkable potential for trade growth in coal and other opportunities. In naturally deep water, the port is located 25 kilometres north of Bowen, at the northern end of the Galilee and Bowen coal basins. The port incorporates the Adani Abbot Point Terminal with a current export capacity of 50 million tonnes per annum.

The Port of Abbot Point is earmarked as a port with significant potential to become not only one of Queensland’s, but one of Australia’s most valuable, intergenerational multi-commodity trading ports. The vision for Abbot Point is that it continues to grow as a key strategic coal port and, over time, leverages benefits from the adjoining State Development Area to become a hub for import, processing, manufacturing and export activities of other industries of regional, state and national significance.


In 2015-16 the port handled 324 bulk carriers carrying a total of 27,053,965 tonnes of coal.

Performance and Achievements

During 2015-16, NQBP commenced a project to renew and revitalise the Abbot Point Marine Offloading Facility (MOF). The MOF Maintenance and Renewal Project is part of NQBP’s commitment to sustainable development across our ports and aligns with the corporation’s strategy of active trade facilitation. Once completed, the Project will improve port capability for emergency response, port operations and environmental monitoring activities and provide a multi-functional offloading facility for oversized cargoes.

NQBP has continued to look at sustainable initiatives in its engagement with the Juru People (the Traditional Owners of Abbot Point). As part of that effort, Juru Enterprises Limited (JEL) and NQBP developed a capacity building project associated with feral pig and fox management to benefit Green Sea Turtle and the Flatback Turtle hatchlings at Abbot Point. The project is known as the Yal-R-Ren-Gungu. The initiative showed how NQBP, Traditional Owners and industry can work together successfully to provide environmental benefits and build capacity. Carried out under the Abbot Point Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA), the project provided an opportunity to train and develop skills for the Juru People with the intention of it being a business opportunity, not just at Abbot Point, but more widely. Initial training for pest management was undertaken and a program focusing on pig removal was implemented with involvement from key stakeholders, particularly Adani Abbot Point Terminal.

There is evidence at Dingo Beach that the impact of the pigs has reduced and it appears only one turtle nest was lost. NQBP will continue the work to ensure cultural heritage values are protected and that capacity building projects are explored, both within the scope of the ILUA and beyond as part of NQBP’s ongoing activities at the port.


The Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project (APGGP) was transferred to NQBP during the 2015-16 financial year. NQBP welcomed the project and is committed to getting the balance right – sustainably developing a world-class port and protecting the unique environment that surrounds it.

APGGP involves the dredging of 1.1 million cubic metres of seabed and placing it on vacant industrial land at the port. This will allow for future expansion, with potential to increase capacity from 50 to 120 mtpa. Commonwealth environmental approval was gained on 21 December 2015 and in addition APGGP has received key State Government approvals for the onshore construction works and offshore dredging. The project will be funded by the Adani Group and will commence when Adani has achieved financial close on its mine, rail and port projects.

Port of Weipa


The Port of Weipa is located on the north-west coast of Cape York Peninsula and is a key strategic asset for the State. With more than 30 million tonnes per annum of product passing through the port each year (including bauxite, fuels and general cargo), the port is a critical gateway to Northern Australia.

Bauxite mined by Rio Tinto is the primary product exported through the Port of Weipa. Rio Tinto’s operations at the port include major onshore bauxite handling, processing and stockpiling facilities. Its conveyors run to two wharves, Lorim Point East and Lorim Point West for ship loading.


The total throughput forthe port for 2015-16 was 32,400,274 tonnes comprising 32,282,192 tonnes of bauxite, 72,123 tonnes of fuel and 45,959 tonnes of general cargo.


The Port of Weipa’s future value comes from its strategic importance for the State given its proximity to Asia.

In November 2015, Rio Tinto’s board announced the approval of the Amrun Project, which will see the development of its bauxite reserves south of the Embley River and new port facilities constructed at Boyd Point. This project is expected to commence production and export by mid-2019.

While in the short term NQBP is pursuing project and breakbulk cargoes needed to support the development of the Amrun Project, the corporation is also focusing on identifying tfurther opportunities at the port.

Other smaller bauxite and mineral sands projects with export potential through the Port of Weipa are in initial planning stages.

NQBP will continue to work with government agencies, industry and community groups to investigate opportunities to attract new trade to ensure the sustainable future of the port.

These include:

  • Broadening the United States and or Australian Defence base as well as border protection
  • Export of timber
  • Live cattle trade
  • Possible agricultural commodity exports with the sealing of the Port Development Road.

Performance and Achievements

Rio Tinto manages and operates the bauxite out-loading infrastructure for shipment to domestic and export markets and has continued to deliver improvements to the shipping and scheduling activities resulting in an increased throughput for the port. A total of 659 bulk carriers visited the port during 2015-16, an increase on the prior year. In March 2016, NQBP approved a Development Application associated with the Green Coast Resources Project (transhipment) and this is expected to provide additional throughput for up to five years.

In conjunction with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Weipa Town Authority and Rio Tinto, NQBP completed a new Evans Landing public boat ramp in December 2015. NQBP donated the land and committed an additional $600,000 to construct the boat ramp and pontoons. This project also delivered a 53 boat and car space bitumen car park, including concrete kerb and guttering and lighting for operational areas, to help improve the safety of port users accessing the facilities.

Both the US and Australian Airforce visited Weipa in May 2016 to better understand the port’s capability and view the available port infrastructure.

Dredge management remains a key focus for NQBP in Weipa. In July 2015, NQBP completed another successful dredge campaign in line with the stringent environmental guidelines, continuing to ensure safe navigable shipping corridors to and from the port.

Port of Maryborough


The Port of Maryborough is located on the Fraser Coast about 255 kilometres from Brisbane. It is a non-trading port with no import or export activities. Current marine operations exist in the Port of Maryborough but are not owned or managed by NQBP. They include barge operations to Fraser Island, commercial fishing, whale watching and recreational boating.