Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls today announced the results of a study to determine the potential to develop a marine-based Common User Facility (CUF) in the North-West.
The study focused on identifying potential locations and the type of facilities and infrastructure needed to support the growth and development of the oil and gas, resources, defence, housing, building and construction industries.
Mr O’Brien said the study had identified that either Anketell Port or Port Hedland’s Lumsden Point would be the most appropriate sites to house common use infrastructure in the Pilbara.
“The Pilbara is one of Australia’s most important economic zones, and resource projects under way or planned in the region represent significant opportunities for expansion,” he said.
“The study was promoted by the Western Australian Government’s recognition of the need to further develop the economic base in the Pilbara.
“There is already significant demand for CUF infrastructure in the region, and as more resource projects in the State become a reality this demand will grow even further.
“Upcoming projects such as Gorgon, Wheatstone, Browse and Ichthys will require this infrastructure for subsea installation and ongoing inspection, maintenance and repair work for more than 30 years. By investing in this common-use infrastructure, the State is encouraging the development of local industries to service these projects.”
A CUF in the north could potentially consist of wharves, lifting lay down areas, repair and maintenance and load-out facilities for these important industries to work closer to their developments.
Mr Grylls said a potential facility would diversify the economic base in the North-West and provide more opportunities for the State’s regional communities to flourish.
“A critical element for a lively, functional and desirable city is a strong local economy that provides employment opportunities for its residents,” Mr Grylls said.
“This project is consistent with the State Government’s Pilbara Cities vision to encourage more people to live and work in the region.
“Under the initiative, Karratha and Port Hedland will become major cities, with funding from both State and Federal governments which, combined with private sector investment, will transform the Pilbara into a modern community with updated amenities and infrastructure.
“The facility could also assist in reducing the cost of building and construction in the Pilbara by providing appropriate infrastructure to assist companies to deliver housing and buildings in a more cost effective and productive manner.
“I see this potential development as an opportunity to encourage more people to live in the North-West and create sustainable communities that will further enhance this area.”
Mr O’Brien said an initiative of this kind was not new to the State Government as the State had experience in establishing common use infrastructure to assist industry development and investment attraction.
“The project would be modelled on the very successful CUF at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC), 30 minutes south of Perth,” he said.
“The AMC CUF provides relevant infrastructure for the oil and gas, defence, marine and resources sectors. The facility has been used by more than 100 different companies to undertake in excess of 350 multi-million dollar contracts since it first opened in 2003.
“The next step will be to form a steering committee which will continue the excellent work that has already taken place through the initial study.”
The Common Use Facilities North West Western Australia Study is a combined State Government initiative between the Department of Commerce and the Pilbara Cities Office of the Department of Regional Development and Lands.
Commerce Minister’s office - 9213 6400
Regional Development Minister’s office - 9213 7000