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Report shows Port of Newcastle an economic powerhouse for NSW and Australia

The Hunter’s trade gateway to the world contributes almost $1 billion to the local economy, according to the latest analysis from HoustonKemp Economists.


The analysis, released this week, highlights the benefits of Newcastle’s port activity for the Hunter, state and national economies, including the positive impact on employment and household income.

The port’s direct and flow-on contribution to Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is almost $1.5 billion and it also underpins almost 9,000 full-time equivalent jobs nationally.

The analysis, using 2018/19 financial year data, also found that port activity generates:

• About 5,700 jobs across the Lower Hunter, $475 million worth of household income and GRP worth almost $1 billion

• 7,800 direct and indirect jobs across NSW, as well as boosting direct and indirect household income by $629 million and contributing $1.2 billion to gross state product

• 9,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country, $736 million worth of direct and indirect household income, and makes a $1.5 billion economic contribution

HoustonKemp also analysed the economic benefit of constructing a 2 million TEU Multi-purpose Deepwater Terminal (MDT) in Newcastle, finding the project design and construction would generate 9,300 jobs and $1.3 billion to the Lower Hunter alone.

The project would contribute $2.5 billion to GDP and create 15,000 direct and indirect jobs for Australia. The figures do not include the broader economic benefits created through increased supply chain efficiency and making internationally-trading businesses in NSW more competitive in global markets.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said, while it was difficult to quantify all the ways the Port contributed to the social and economic wellbeing of the region, the analysis helped to shed light on the importance of Australia’s largest east coast port to the nation’s economic prosperity.

“HoustonKemp has applied its complex economic methodology to quantify the scale of the port’s contribution in our region and for the rest of the nation,” Mr Carmody said.

“For every dollar generated by port activity in Newcastle, there is a total contribution of $2.62 to Australia’s GDP.” Mr Carmody said the Port had a critical role to play in providing accessible, efficient and cost-effective supply chains that underpinned local jobs, businesses and the region’s economic prosperity.

“This is especially critical as we do our bit to help the economy recover from the effects of COVID-19,” Mr Carmody said.

“We look forward to the Hunter having an uncontained future and being an attractive place for private investment. “Port projects started today will be critical in the decades ahead, ensuring we can diversify the economy and remain internationally-competitive and prosperous long into the future.”

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