Building international trade with a balance between exports over imports is crucial to our state’s economic future. At present, WA’s container trade mainly involves the import of goods manufactured overseas. Most containers are shipped out empty or filled with waste paper, scrap metal or hay. Becoming part of the new world economy requires WA to progress to supplying products developed from our primary goods: to engage in secondary processing rather than exporting raw products for others to process and profit from.
The world has moved on from the days of stand-alone ports that operate solely as a pick up and drop off point for shipping containers and bulk goods. Emerging industries require ease of access to a port that provides a range of facilities and services for their chain-of-supply to be ‘fast’, ‘efficient’, and ‘connected’. Deep water channels and berthing facilities for super-tanker shipping, automated handling, refrigerated warehouses, quay-side rail services and intermodal hubs that make for easy connection between ships and distribution warehouses, adjoining industrial lands that facilitate industry growth and easy transport – these are essential features of the port our state needs to build and future-proof its economy.
We may never get this chance again. If the vital transport corridors and industry land reserves that make Kwinana such an ideal location for our new port are not secured now they can be lost forever. The international trade opportunities available in our region now will not wait. Other countries will seize the advantage.
Housing and infill projects are on stand-by and pressing for approval. These developments would seriously affect, even de-rail the Kwinana port project.
WA must rise to the ‘challenge of urgency’ this project demands.
Western Trade Coast.
The Kwinana Industrial Area within the Western Trade Coast is one of the most interconnected industrial precincts in the world. Together with a new Kwinana port it will provide a foundation to diversify WA’s economy.
Currently the Western Trade Coast (WTC) is a major contributor to the state and national economy. The region employs nearly 14,000 people with many more in indirect employment and generates more than $15 billion per annum.
The WTC accounts for two per cent of WA’s Gross State Product, contributing over one third of all value added in WA’s manufacturing sector. A modernised port, upgraded supply chains and integrated infrastructure is forecast to increase employment to a minimum 22,000 people with an estimated value to the WA economy of at least $28 billion.
There are currently over 4,000 Ha of land available for future industrial growth – ranging from new export opportunities for processed agricultural goods, value-adding mineral processing plants, shipbuilding and ship maintenance and all of the related logistic and supporting businesses.
An international-class port will provide the environment for new industries and businesses to develop and for increased diversification and growth of the WA economy. Developed to international standards, the new port will create the opportunity for WA to transition from reliance on the export of raw products to supplying high quality, high value processed products from our agricultural and resource sectors to countries in our region.