Press Release

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PGA SUPPORTS FREMANTLE PORT SALE PROPOSAL

2016-06-16

The Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA (PGA) has endorsed the government proposal for the sale of the Fremantle Port.

The PGA President Mr Tony Seabrook and Chairman of the Western Grain Growers committee Mr Gary McGill, both went to the public briefing given by the Treasurer in Northam, and the Treasurer also gave the PGA Executive Committee a comprehensive private briefing.  Based on that process the PGA has made a decision to support the government’s current proposal.

The PGA notes that the State of Western Australia will retain freehold ownership of the port but will lease it to private enterprise by competitive tender.  All current commercial agreements will remain in force.

The Port of Fremantle is the last major government operated port in Australia.  As such, its sale will benefit from the experience of other jurisdictions, and there will be independent oversight of pricing and access under the supervision of the Economic Regulation Authority of WA

The PGA supports this sale for the simple fact that governments may not be able to access the investment capital that is needed to develop the port facilities that will be required to take Western Australia’s agricultural commodities to overseas markets.

There is an allowance in this sale to kick start the development of a new livestock export port and under a privatized landholder and operations model, the Kwinana Bulk Jetty and underused Kwinana Bulk Terminal (2 jetties, but only 1 berth is operational) could provide other opportunities for the export of grains.

The private sector is recognised for its stronger management capability, quicker decision-making process, and potentially better industry experience.

The PGA is very concerned that those who purport to have an interest in representing the agricultural sector of WA, and who have access to exactly the same information as the PGA, are opposing the sale of the port.

PGA is struggling to see any rational reason for not supporting the proposed lease, and can only assume that those who oppose the sale are allowing their various prejudices and political agendas to confound common sense.


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