MP backs deep port vi­sion for Ex­mouth

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Plans for a deep­wa­ter wharf in Ex­mouth have re­ceived a boost af­ter Du­rack MP Melissa Price threw her sup­port be­hind the project.

Speak­ing to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives last week af­ter a trip to Ex­mouth, Ms Price high­lighted the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits the project would bring to the re­gion.

Ms Price said she be­lieved fund­ing could be sought un­der the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s $5 bil­lion con­ces­sional loans scheme for in­fra­struc­ture in north­ern Aus­tralia.

“This project would be a huge boost to not just Ex­mouth, but also the sur­round­ing re­gions, such as the Shires who at­tended a re­cent meet­ing in Ex­mouth — Carnar­von, Shark Bay, Up­per Gas­coyne, Wiluna and Meekatharra,” she said.

“The wharf would then cre­ate pres­sure to im­prove trans­port links in the re­gion to ben­e­fit the cat­tle and tourism in­dus­tries, to name but a few, but it would also cre­ate more pres­sure to in­crease the de­fence pres­ence in Ex­mouth.

“It will also com­ple­ment the re­cent re­vamp of the town cen­tre and the fore­shore.”

Fund­ing from the con­ces­sional loans scheme will be­come avail­able early next year.

Shire of Ex­mouth chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Price said sup­port from a Fed­eral level was wel­come news.

Mr Price said it made sense to base an agri­cul­ture ex­port fa­cil­ity in Ex­mouth.

“We’re cen­trally lo­cated to ex­ist­ing ports and can pro­vide for the Pil­bara, Gas­coyne and up­per Mid West,” he said.

“The prob­lem with ports in the Pil­bara is they are all too busy — we don’t have that prob­lem.”

It has been a year of big talk for agri­cul­tural ex­ports from the North West — ev­ery coastal town in the Pil­bara has ex­pressed its de­sire to take its slice of the beef pie.

Min­deroo Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cola For­rest out­lined her vi­sion for cat­tle ex­ports from Onslow at the CEDA con­fer­ence in Kar­ratha in Oc­to­ber.

Port Hed­land cur­rently has the abil­ity to fa­cil­i­tate cat­tle ex­ports, but has not done so for a num­ber of years.

The pro­posed An­ketell deep­wa­ter port has also been floated as a po­ten­tial suitor to take on agri­cul­tural ex­ports.

Ms Price de­clined to an­swer ques­tions re­gard­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of po­ten­tially hav­ing mul­ti­ple agri­cul­tural ex­port fa­cil­i­ties in the North West.

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