THE WA Government has announced the way forward for the Oakajee port project and associated rail infrastructure.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the plan provided a firm way forward in the absence of the mining companies operating in the region being able to work collaboratively on the project.
The right to construction of the port will be subject to a contestable process, limited to the two mining companies who have requested this right.
These companies can nominate in their own right or through a nominated infrastructure provider.
WestNet Rail will be given the opportunity to develop a link into Oakajee thereby ensuring a connection between Oakajee and Geraldton ports and with all the rail in the region
The State Government would identify a corridor for the rail line connecting Jack Hills and Weld Range mines to Mullewa.
If the proponents elected to build their own rail line all the way to Oakajee, the Western Australian Government would identify a suitable corridor and co-ordinate approvals with the cost of these being borne by the proponent(s) who proceeded to build.
The Government will consider allowing WestNet to realign their corridor with any such new corridor.
The port construction will include the breakwater, channel and turning basin and navigational aids together with the successful proponents berths and land based facilities.
The non-successful proponent will have the right to build a subsequent berth.
The criteria for selecting the successful infrastructure provider for the port would be based on:
- the capability of the port design to meet the requirements of the industrial estate and multiple rail infrastructure, including development of panamax berths;
- third party access arrangement, including price;
- the capacity to make a firm commitment to construct within an acceptable timeframe; and
- confirmation that the infrastructure provider would transfer ownership of the breakwater channel and basin to the Geraldton Port Authority. The timing of the transfer would take into account taxation and depreciation imperatives