By Nadia Daly
Darwin’s port, which has been leased to a Chinese firm, has been described as a “strategic defence port” in the once-a-year report of the entire body that runs the facility.
The remarks in the 2015 Darwin Port Corporation (DPC) once-a-year report contradict responses created by Primary Minister Malcolm Turnbull who previous thirty day period explained it was a “professional port, not a armed forces port”.
In Oct this calendar year Chinese-owned firm Landbridge Team signed a ninety nine-yr lease for the port with the Northern Territory Govt for $ 506 million.
An opening letter in the report by Darwin Port Corporation main executive officer Terry O’Connor explained the port was critical to Defence:
“The Port of Darwin performs an essential function in Australia’s Defence approach and in 2014/15 was host to more than 100 Navy vessels.
The Corporation worked carefully with Defence to strategy and accommodate the improved Barbour exercise for significant international Defence physical exercise Talisman Sabre, in July 2015.
The Company offers safe berthing and assist services at Fort Hill Wharf and in May this calendar year signed a new access agreement with the Australian Defence Power for its refuelling requirements.”
The report later stated the Port of Darwin was “determined as a strategic defence port in the Countrywide Port Method” and famous “the Company attended defence briefings”, and was functioning “closely with Territory and Federal Government businesses” to make positive acceptable stability arrangements ended up in location for browsing naval vessels.
Fort Hill Wharf, component of the port internet site leased to Chinese business Landbridge, is employed by the Australian Navy and abroad militaries, including the United States.
The report outlined the Division of Defence as a stakeholder in the organisation.
“The Port of Darwin has been a strategic port for Australian and allied forces for above a century,” the report said.
Mr Turnbull has beforehand stated Defence had no considerations about the lease of the port, even though some defence analysts have raised inquiries about Landbridge’s links with the Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army.
Meanwhile the 2015 report also mentioned that Port Corporation’s revenue have been down to $ 12 million, from $ 17 million in the prior monetary calendar year.
It noted that the amount of vessels that visited the port ended up virtually half of the earlier monetary yr from three,178 to 1,717.
Topics: govt-and-politics, states-and-territories, defence-and-national-protection, darwin-0800