Pil­bara cat­tle ex­port fa­cil­ity a ‘no-brainer’

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

■ More op­por­tu­ni­ties for cat­tle ex­ports and the in­tro­duc­tion of im­proved pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the Pil­bara were hot top­ics of dis­cus­sion at the CEDA con­fer­ence in Kar­ratha last week.

Pas­toral­ists in the Pil­bara are cur­rently truck­ing their cat­tle to ports such as Broome and Fre­man­tle, de­spite Port Hed­land hav­ing in­fra­struc­ture ready to fa­cil­i­tate cat­tle ex­ports.

Pil­bara Ports Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Roger John­ston said any­one look­ing to set up a sup­ply line from Hed­land sim­ply needed to con­tact the marine team to get it or­gan­ised.

“We can man­age a small num­ber of those ves­sels, and when I say a small num­ber I mean for lo­cal de­mand, but if we are go­ing to grow de­mand we need to build big­ger fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

“What I have been talk­ing about is de­vel­op­ments like that at Lums­den Point.

“If you are go­ing to build a gen­eral use Green­fields port why wouldn’t you in­cor­po­rate fa­cil­i­ties to han­dle large num­bers of cat­tle?”

Mr John­ston said cat­tle fa­cil­i­ties at the mooted An­ketell port would be de­pen­dent on in­dus­try de­mand.

Min­deroo Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cola For­rest said in­creas­ing pro­cess­ing and open­ing up more op­por­tu­ni­ties for cat­tle ex­ports were chal­lenges for the in­dus­try.

“My un­der­stand­ing is un­der the State Agree­ment, the Chevron wharf which is un­der con­struc­tion is go­ing to be made open for the public in two to three years and I would imag­ine that is a per­fect place to ex­port be­cause it al­ready has the deep wa­ter,” she said.

“Min­deroo can of­fer quar­an­tin­ing for cat­tle right there on that land and that would be a win-win for Pil­bara pas­toral­ists.

“I have cat­tle on a truck to­day headed to Broome for ex­port so if I only have to go as far as Port Hed­land, it’s a lot closer.”

Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tony Seabrook said de­pen­dent on the cost of get­ting fa­cil­i­ties up and run­ning, ex­ports from the Pil­bara were a no­brainer.

“The crit­i­cal thing here is to en­hance the in­fra­struc­ture which is al­ready here and try and get that work­ing,” he said.

Fed­eral MP Alan­nah MacTier­nan said the po­ten­tial for im­proved pro­cess­ing and ex­port fa­cil­i­ties in the Pil­bara re­lied on sen­si­ble use of mine de­wa­ter­ing for fin­ish­ing off of cat­tle in the Pil­bara.

Tom Zaun­mayr Pic­ture:

Pil­bara Ports Au­thor­ity ex­ec­u­tive Roger John­ston.

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