The Hunter’s state MPs have been sent a letter from NSW Ports, arguing the push for a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle is misguided.

The Port is hoping to diversify away from coal exports, though container traffic above a certain threshold would require Newcastle financially compensate NSW Ports, as part of a deal entered into during the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp received a copy of the letter.

He’s described the move as disappointing and condescending.

“They’ve got a monopoly on containers,” he said. “And they’re writing to us, to tell us the disadvantages of Newcastle getting a container terminal. It’s pretty outrageous, actually.”

“They must be very worried if they’re resorting to such tactics. There is broad support across the whole state for this. National Party, Labor Party, most of the Liberal Party. I’ve had people from the Liberal Party in my office, saying, what is the Government doing on this? It’s absolutely crazy.”

“The only thing going on here is that the operator of the monopoly and the Liberal Government are worried about competition from the Port of Newcastle.”

In the letter, NSW Ports, which operates Port Botany, claims there’s not sufficient demand for another container terminal in the state, and that the automated terminal could not deliver more than one or two hundred jobs.

The Port of Newcastle has defended the project, however, arguing an estimated 15,000 jobs would be created across the region both directly and indirectly, and could be a strong alternative to the often-congested Port Botany.

The Port received two new mobile harbour cranes earlier this week, a sign it’s intending to push ahead and prove its case to the State Government, so that the controversial commitment deeds might be repealed.

Mr Crakanthorp says the only misinformation is coming from NSW Ports.

“I’ll be asking them to come up to Newcastle,” he said. “Not to meet in the Sydney parliament office.”

“Come up here, meet with me, and go and have a look at the port.”

A pair of mobile harbour cranes arrived at the Port of Newcastle earlier this week.