Newcastle – the MUA’s Northern NSW Branch – is one the oldest unionised ports in Australia, shipping coal to England in the early 1800s. It was also once a vibrant port for river-boat cargo and passenger services along the Hunter, Clarence and northern river ports. Today, it is a very diverse port, stevedoring cargoes of bulk wheat, coal, aluminum, fertilizers and general goods. It is the biggest tonnage port in Australia and the biggest coal export port in the world. The Port of Newcastle is currently undergoing expansion at the old BHP steel site for general cargo and at the Kooragang Island coal terminal.
The branch covers around 600 port authority employees, workers at the bulk facilities, painters and dockers, tugs and linesmen, seafarers and stevedoring workers. The branch campaigns for better pensions, health services and financial support for the port's expansion. Newcastle is also the headquarters of the MUA's Veterans Association.