Roy Green, the incoming Chairman of the Newcastle Ports, said: "Coal has been at the heart of Hunter's economy for the better part of two centuries, and it will continue to be central to the prosperity of the region and Port of Newcastle for some time to come". Professor Green has worked in universities, business and government in Australia and overseas, including most recently as Dean of the UTS Business School at the University of Technology Sydney. But we must build significantly on this platform and create world class port facilities that are able to meet the needs of a rapidly changing Hunter and NSW economy.
Professor Green commented: "It's a great honour to be appointed to Port of Newcastle at such a pivotal moment in its evolution".
Coal now accounts for 90% of the port's throughput.
"The Port of Newcastle if following the money trail, by adopting the position taken by major Australian banks, including my former employer NAB, over recent weeks, who have sought to distance themselves from financial ties with new coal projects and focus on the growth industries of the future", Henderson added. This includes some of the globe's highest quality coal.
He said the port authority was obliged to think "long term".
The port will lobby to ensure it has a level playing field to develop a viable and competitive container terminal.
Newcastle Port is cleaning up its energy use.
The Port of Newcastle clean energy move has also been welcomed by former chief economist of National Australia Bank Rob Henderson. It should subsequently "reaffirm" the rapid transition away from coal. And continued investment in Australian coal is a "losing proposition".
"Most people in the Hunter understand that the fortunes of the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter economy are inextricably linked, as it is impossible to have a thriving port without a thriving regional economy".
"Newcastle, the world's largest coal port, is now transitioning to a lower carbon world and is actively planning for the time when less of the Hunter's wealth and income will be generated from coal", he said in a statement on Monday.