The Territory Labor Government will build the largest ship lift in Northern Australia.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan, today confirming the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is making an Investment Decision of $300 million funding towards the project.
Located at East Arm the ship lift will bring $260 million into the NT economy every year and generate 400 direct and indirect ongoing jobs during operation through the expansion of the ship building and repairs and maintenance industry – it will also create 100 jobs during construction.
The 103m ship lift will be capable of servicing large vessels from industries including offshore petroleum, fishing, pearling, Defence and Border Force – being used to lift vessels out of the water so they can be serviced, repaired or stored, including for safety during cyclones.
The $300 million NAIF loan will be made to the Northern Territory Treasury Corporation with the Territory Labor Government contributing the remaining $100 million to the project.
A Northern Territory Government ship lift team is up and running with project implementation well underway, overseen by the ship lift project team Executive Director who reports straight to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation CEO.
Ship lift works are due to be announced soon with:
- The engineering consultancy tender first to be awarded by the end of 2019;
- Followed by a competitive construction tender process in June 2020;
- Construction works to commence in 2021- anticipated to take two years;
- Ship lift facility operational in 2023.
Darwin is the only functional deep water harbour in Northern Australia, further emphasising the critical need for this infrastructure. Without this facility large vessels travel 10 days to be serviced in another town.
The in-principle agreement between the Northern Territory Government and Paspaley will result in the ship lift constructed on Government-owned land, operated by Paspaley under a 10-year renewable agreement.
Quotes attributed to Chief Minister Michael Gunner:
“There will be a ship lift built in the Northern Territory – it is good for the Territory and it’s smart for the nation.
“This is a major national project, positioning the Territory’s marine industry on the national and international map, and delivering hundreds of jobs for Territorians.
“It is a strategic investment which will further open up the investment potential of the region, and mean more business opportunities, which means more local permanent jobs.”
Quotes attributed to Dr Sam Buchanan Chief Operating Officer Paspaley Pearls Group:
“Shiplift funding is good news for local Territory business. The Paspaley Group is proud to bring decades of experience and world-class marine industry capabilities to this project.
“The Paspaley Group own and maintain a large fleet of vessels, all sailing in and out of Darwin Harbour on a regular basis – these vessels, currently maintained in Darwin, will help ensure the ongoing viability of the ship lift, as an anchor tenant for the facility.”