Home' Maritime Festival : October 2009 Contents 38 THE HERALD Wednesday, October 7, 2009
National Maritime Festival
A Herald advertising feature
ECONOMIC DRIVER: Sailing ships crowd Newcastle Harbour about 1900, and more than 100 years later, bulk carriers queue offshore before loading up with Hunter Valley coal.
The coal that built a busy port
THE Port of Newcastle has come a long way
from its humble beginnings.
The first sighting of what was to become
Newcastle was in 1770 when Captain James
Cook described Nobbys as ''a small clump of
an island lying close to shore''.
In 1797, Lieutenant John Shortland
discovered the Hunter River and the coal that
dotted the shoreline became Australia's first
commercial export cargo two years later when
50 tonnes was exported to Bengal in 1799.
Newcastle is now the world's largest coal
export port with more than 90 million tonnes
shipped in 2008-09.
Coal exports will continue to grow as a third
coal loader is being constructed on Kooragang
Island to be operational in 2010.
The 2008-09 financial year provided a new
trade record for the port with almost 96
million tonnes of cargo valued at $17.01 billion
being handled during the 12 months.
The port has changed in more than 200
years of operation.
Its early years saw convicts digging coal
from surrounding cliffs to what is now a
thriving gateway taking Hunter products to
Sailing ships and shovels have given way to
modern technology with huge ship loaders
and containerisation revealing the port to be
a very different place today.
Growth and diversification are reshaping
the port with many new cargoes and terminals.
Vegetable oils, frozen concentrated
orange juice and retort coke are among the
latest cargoes being transported through the
Cruise ships boost tourism and the
Honeysuckle development is redefining the
port and the city as a modern, thriving location
for business and a great place to live.
The Port of Newcastle is an economic driver
for NSW, a major focal point for the city, and
a great place to do business.
LUNCH & DINNER
From 8am 7 Days Per Week
Sit back & enjoy the relaxing
atmosphere & great food with a twist
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