Alannah MacTiernan

Alannah MacTiernan

Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

    New dedicated iron ore berth to keep Mid-West's boom times rolling

    6/01/2006 12:00 AM

    The Gallop Government continues to keep pace with the Mid-West’s economic resurgence by approving funding for a new, dedicated iron ore berth at Geraldton Port.

    Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan today announced the Gallop Government’s decision to authorise an upgrade for Geraldton Port’s Berth 5, at an estimated cost of $35million, in readiness for increased iron ore exports.

    “In 2004 - after a massive upgrade - iron ore started moving through the port for the first time in 30 years at two million tonnes annually,” Ms MacTiernan said.

    “Now, in 2006, there are seven iron ore projects being promoted across the Mid-West - most of which will be exporting within the next two years and all of which have identified Geraldton as their preferred export point.

    “By upgrading Berth 5, we will increase iron ore throughput capacity to approximately 10 million tonnes per annum.

    “Importantly, the new dedicated berth will also take pressure off Berth 4, where iron ore and other products such as concentrates, mineral sands and garnet are currently being loaded.

    “This funding package is yet another vote of confidence in the Mid-West economy and recognition that we need to keep pace with the booming resources sector.”

    The upgrade package includes:
    • a new shiploader at Berth 5, with a design capacity of 5,000 tonnes per hour;
    • new interlinking conveyors for Berths 4 and 5;
    • associated electrical upgrades; and
    • additional marine works at Berths 5 and 6.
    Tenders for the various project components will be issued in January 2006, and the project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2007.

    Ms MacTiernan said the resumption of iron ore shipments from Geraldton was a direct result of the Gallop Government’s $103million Port Enhancement Project, completed in late 2003.

    The project included deepening the harbour basin and access channel - allowing bigger vessels to enter the port and opening up new export opportunities.

    Geraldton MLA Shane Hill said the latest funding package was a major boost for the region’s export potential.

    “This investment will give the region’s growing resources sector the confidence to push ahead with new projects,” Mr Hill said.

    “This ultimately means a stronger local economy and more jobs and opportunities for our community.”

    Minister's office: 9213 6400