MP backs deep port vision for Exmouth
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.