Geraldton Port plan seeks private investment

Headshot of Caitlyn Rintoul
Caitlyn RintoulGeraldton Guardian
Darren West, Rochelle Macdonald, Alannah MacTiernan and Laurie Graham. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.
Camera IconDarren West, Rochelle Macdonald, Alannah MacTiernan and Laurie Graham. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Attraction private investment into the future of Geraldton Port was the main message championed by WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan while opening a public consultation period for the draft master plan on Thursday.

In partnership with the Mid West Ports Authority since January 2018, the State Government has earmarked the development and infrastructure requirements for the export hub across the next 30 years.

Addressing stakeholders on Thursday, the authority’s chief executive officer Rochelle Macdonald said those requirements centred around boosting the existing industries and attracting new customers.

“We’re looking at this as what would success look like by optimising the current footprint that our port is on to get the most bang for our buck for the State, for the community and for our customers,” Ms Macdonald said.

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The plan entails the construction of two new berths, upgrading the original berth and restructuring the layout of the port for productivity and emergency management.

Ms Macdonald said the task would come with its challenges and constraints, particularly, when it came to the continued functionality of the original dock while upgrades were underway.

She echoed Ms MacTiernan’s sentiment on private sector investment.

“It’s not just State Funding that we’re looking at... We’re looking at commitment from current and future customers,” Ms MacDonald said.

Ms MacTiernan said priority projects within the plan included accommodating growth across the next five years and highlighting tourism development opportunities in Fishing Boat Harbour.

“This port is capable, with the right investment over the next 15 years, to go from 16 million tonnes per annum to 50 million tonnes per annum and also to deliver an enhanced product for the tourism industry,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“That’s the throughput. Now, the port is at capacity and we have to look again at how do we use this port to drive... the jobs and opportunity for this Mid West region.”

Community members and stakeholders can view and provide comment on the draft master plan during a series of public information workshops, including in Geraldton on October 22 and November 2 or Perth on October 31.

The consultation period will end on December 3.

To view the draft Master Plan, provide additional feedback or to make an enquiry, visit http://www.midwestports.com.au/geraldton-port-master-plan.aspx

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