Port Darwin

Port Darwin is the port in northern Australia. Darwin, Northern Territory has operated in a number of locations including Stokes Hill Wharf, Cullen Bay and East Arm Wharf.

Port Darwin
Location of Port Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Stoke Hill Wharf

Stokes Hill Wharf operated as the main location of Port Darwin, and has had three wharves.

East Arm Wharf

East Arm Wharf, opened in 2000. Panamax sized ships of a maximum length of 274 meters and a DWT of up to 80,000 tonnes are able to use the location.[1]

Landbridge lease

In October 2015, the Chinese-owned Landbridge Group won the bid for a lease of Port Darwin. The Northern Territory Government granted the company a 99-year lease for A$506 million.[2][3] The contract price is more than 25 times the profit the port had earned over the preceding two years, and Landbridge also promised to invest A$200 million over a 25-year period.[4]

Shandong Landbridge Group is a privately-held company with headquarters in the city of Rizhao, Shandong Province, China, which is owned by Ye Cheng, a billionaire with close ties to the Chinese government and the Communist Party of China.[4][5][6]

Concern over the lease

Concern has been expressed over this leasing arrangement due its strategic significance as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.[7][8][9][10][11] In response, development of a port at Glyde Point has been suggested as a counterbalance.[12] Concerns have been expressed over the proximity of the port to a base where United States Marines are stationed on a rotational basis and to the international airport, which is used jointly for military and civilian purposes.[4]

In August 2019, a proposal was launched to nationalise the port to end Chinese control.[13]

See also


  1. Darwin Port Corporation > East Arm Wharf Archived 15 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Darwinport.nt.gov.au.
  2. "Robb joins Chinese company with control of Darwin Port". ABC News. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  3. Chan, Gabrielle Chan (6 June 2017). "Coalition defends Andrew Robb after revelation he started job while an MP". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  4. Tanaka, Yasuto (2 February 2019). "Concerns Raised As Australian Port Rolls Out Red Carpet for Chinese Investment". Japan Forward. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  5. "China's 'invisible billionaire' – the Port of Darwin's new owner". Australian Financial Review. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  6. "ASIO warned politicians about taking cash from Huang Xiangmo, Chau Chak Wing". Australian Financial Review. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  7. Uhlmann, Chris (15 October 2015). "Senior Defence official raises security concerns over Darwin port lease to Chinese-owned company Landbridge". ABC News. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  8. "Andrew Robb's secret China contract: money for nothing". 6 December 2017.
  9. Garrick, John (6 December 2018). "Darwin port's sale is a blueprint for China's future economic expansion". The Conversation. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  10. "Can the Darwin Port's 99-year lease to China be reversed?". ABC News. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  11. Smee, Ben; Walsh, Christopher A. (17 December 2016). "How the sale of Darwin port to the Chinese sparked a geopolitical brawl". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  12. Gibson, Jano (24 June 2019). "New Darwin port would 'counterbalance' 99-year Chinese company lease: Liberal MP". ABC News. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  13. Push for Darwin Port to be nationalised to end Chinese ownership of strategic northern asset

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