Higher port fees to help cut State debt

Pilbara News - - State Budget - Tay­lar Amonini and Daniel Mercer

Pil­bara Ports Author­ity will ex­pe­ri­ence ma­jor change in the com­ing fi­nan­cial year as the State Bud­get fo­cuses on the big iron ore ex­porter.

With Govern­ment debt ex­pected to hit $43.8 bil­lion by 2019-20, Trea­surer Ben Wy­att’s first Bud­get re­vealed Govern­ment trad­ing en­ter­prises would be ex­pected to pay $807 mil­lion over four years.

The State will re­coup a higher por­tion of the profit from iron ore ports op­er­ated by the Pil­bara Ports Author­ity, such as Port Hed­land and Dampier, where the div­i­dend pay­out ra­tio will climb to 90 per cent for 2016-17 be­fore fall­ing back to 75 per cent.

There will also be an in­crease in PPA port dues, with a 17 per cent in­crease in the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year to be ap­plied no later than Oc­to­ber 1. The changes are ex­pected to im­prove the State’s debt po­si­tion by $95 mil­lion.

The bud­get also out­lined $33.8 mil­lion in 2017-18 and 2018-19 to re­place the berth three deck at the Port of Port Hed­land.

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