Lo­cal beef ex­ports to ben­e­fit pas­toral­ists

Pilbara News - - News - Cally Dupe

Pil­bara pas­toral­ists hope to save up to $100 a head next year by ex­port­ing lo­cally in­stead of truck­ing cat­tle to Perth or Broome.

A ship loaded with cat­tle will leave Port Hed­land in March, the re­gion’s first pas­toral ex­port since the end of the 2012-13 fi­nan­cial year.

Anna Plains Sta­tion man­ager David Stoate said ex­port­ing lo­cally would save pas­toral­ists be­ing “killed” by the cost of freight.

“It costs us about $80 or $90 per head to trans­port to Broome, com­pared to $5 or $10 to go from a port up here (in the Pil­bara),” he said.

His sta­tion, on the edge of the Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara, ex­ports up to 6000 head a year from Broome and Perth.

In the port of Port Hed­land’s last ship­ment of cat­tle, 8300 head set sail for the Mid­dle East.

Author­i­ties hope the town will ship 65,000-100,000 head within the next decade.

Emu Creek Sta­tion man­ager Dar­ryl Penny said ex­port­ing from Port Hed­land in­stead of Perth would halve his freight costs.

Mr Penny also said it was not un­com­mon for cat­tle to lose about 27kg on the jour­ney to Perth, which “at $3 per kilo was al­most $90 per beast”.

“The less time they can spend on the truck the bet­ter — it will save us about $40 or $50 in weight be­cause it’s half the dis­tance,” he said.

“It will save more in freight costs be­cause it is a long drive to Perth.”

Emu Creek Sta­tion ex­ports about 400 head a year from Perth.

Pil­bara Ports Author­ity said it would con­struct a move­able load­ing ramp which could be used on all three pub­lic berths, but its ul­ti­mate goal was for live­stock ex­ports to be trans­ported to the pro­posed Lums­den Point fa­cil­ity.

Pil­bara Ports Author­ity de­vel­op­ment and trade gen­eral Lyle Banks said the re­port in­di­cated within 10 years there could be be­tween 65,000 and 100,000 head ex­ported from the town.

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