||Australia : First steps towards direct maritime freight to the Pilbara
||- McGowan Government focus on lowering the cost of doing business in the Pilbara
- Complementary studies by the State Government and City of Karratha identify economic benefits from establishing a direct maritime freight service to the Pilbara
Two complementary reports released today by the McGowan Government and City of Karratha have found that significant economic benefits would be created if a direct maritime freight service to the Pilbara was established.
The studies were commissioned by the Pilbara Development Commission and the City of Karratha in a collaboration to address concerns raised by Pilbara businesses that relying on goods being trucked overland from Perth and Fremantle by road train, incurs a significant logistical cost and limits business opportunities.
The two reports will be released today at a business breakfast in Karratha.
Key findings from a report titled 'The Impact of a Direct Maritime Freight Service for the Pilbara', produced for the Pilbara Development Commission, include:
The annual gross regional product of the Pilbara would increase by 1.14 per cent, or $120 million per year, if a direct maritime freight service was established and replaced 20 per cent of the current overland freight task; and
Establishing a Pilbara maritime freight service could create 30 new direct local jobs.
Key findings from 'The Pilbara Freight Study' report, commissioned by the City of Karratha include:
There is sufficient demand through cargo aggregation for new direct maritime freight links to major Asian trans-shipment ports;
A direct maritime freight service could reduce freight costs by up to 50 per cent and delivery times by up to 70 per cent;
A two per cent change in freight movements could be sufficient to provide a financially viable direct freight route; and
There is infrastructure and capacity at Dampier Port to support a new direct maritime freight link.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"We want to reduce restraints on doing business in the Pilbara and drive new opportunities for business development and local jobs.
"These two studies show there could be significant regional economic savings and opportunities if a direct maritime freight service to the Pilbara was established.
"We know some attempts have been made in the past to establish a direct service, but the benefits are such that we need to look at having another go.
"The next step is to establish if there is appetite to both sell and buy maritime freight services into the Pilbara, with an appropriate outcome being that the market takes over and establishes a regular freight service into the Pilbara."
Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
"As the previous owner of a small business that operated throughout the Pilbara, I have been fighting to reduce the cost of doing business in the Pilbara since I was elected.
"I am a strong advocate for more local jobs for our Pilbara, and this report finds that a direct shipping service could create 30 local jobs for our Pilbara community.
"The McGowan Government is looking to the future and driving initiatives that will support the creation of local jobs in our Pilbara."
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