Min­ers slugged with $95m port fee rise

Pilbara News - - News - Gary Ad­shead

Min­ing com­pa­nies will pay $95 mil­lion more in port and ship­ping fees in the Pil­bara as part of a money-rais­ing mea­sure un­veiled by the State Gov­ern­ment.

Rises of up to 17 per cent will hit port charges in Port Hed­land and Dampier, but ju­nior min­ing com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing from the Utah Point bulk-han­dling fa­cil­ity will con­tinue to en­joy dis­counted rates.

The Gov­ern­ment will im­pose a 2.5 per cent in­crease in port fees at Fre­man­tle and 0.5 per cent in­crease in charges in Al­bany, Esper­ance and Bun­bury.

Pre­mier Mark McGowan and Trea­surer Ben Wy­att out­lined in­creases in fees and charges for house­holds across WA last week.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said the new charges in the Pil­bara were be­tween 3¢ and 4¢ more a tonne and would come into ef­fect be­fore Oc­to­ber.

She said the added costs were part of the Gov­ern­ment’s Budget re­pair mea­sures and would bring in the ex­tra $95 mil­lion over the next four years.

“Ev­ery­one will share the bur­den to help pay for the Lib­er­als’ and Na­tion­als’ out-of-con­trol spend­ing,” Ms Saf­fi­oti said.

“Fix­ing the mess we have in­her­ited will take time, but we will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to min­imise the im­pact. That’s why we have ex­tended the dis­count for ju­nior min­ers, giv­ing them con­fi­dence go­ing for­ward.”

The $2.50 a tonne dis­count was in­tro­duced in 2015 and ex­tended by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

Ms Saf­fi­oti said the Mid West Ports Author­ity in Ger­ald­ton would in­tro­duce a 3 per cent in­crease and the Port of Broome a 2 per cent rise.

The Gov­ern­ment also con­firmed it was still con­sid­er­ing sell­ing the Utah Point bulk-han­dling fa­cil­ity in Port Hed­land.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Rio Tinto's Parker Point op­er­a­tions in Dampier.

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