Port of Newcastle says reports of the government buying out half the Port are “incorrect”

The Port of Newcastle says they haven’t been approached for any type of acquisition amid conversations it’ll potentially become home to Australia’s nuclear submarine fleet.

In the AUKUS deal with the US and the UK, Australia will be getting a fleet of nuclear powered submarines which Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced earlier this year would be housed at either Newcastle, Port Kembla or Brisbane.

The base would cost around $10 billion.

The Australian Financial Review is reporting that for Newcastle to be the home for the fleet the Federal Government could be forced to buy out the Chinese part-owner as it could pose a security risk.

A Port of Newcastle spokesperson said they haven’t been in any conversations about a potential buy-out.

“The story published in the Australian Financial Review regarding the federal government purchasing a percentage of Port of Newcastle is incorrect.”

“Port of Newcastle has not been approached regarding a purchase or any type of acquisition. No discussions have occurred prior to or after the recent announcement that Port of Newcastle was shortlisted for a nuclear submarine base.”

A decision on where the nuclear submarines will be housed isn’t expected to be made until later this year.

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