Pilbara Ports powering State’s economic recovery and supporting jobs

  • ​$81.7 million of works to support critical port and road repairs as part of WA Recovery Plan
  • Infrastructure improvements to support trade, boost the local economy and jobs
  • Pilbara Ports Authority, encompassing the ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland, achieved a record annual throughput of 717.2 million tonnes in 2019-20
  • Record throughput the equivalent of 13,583 Sydney Harbour Bridges
  • Port contributed to 20 per cent of WA’s Gross State Product in 2018-19, and underpinned one in every 12 jobs across the State
  • The estimated market value of product passed through the ports was $120.8 billion
  • Contributes to approximately 42 per cent of global seaborne iron ore exports
  • Premier Mark McGowan and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel today visited the Port of Port Hedland and inspected areas that will be upgraded as part of the WA Recovery Plan. 

    The program of works will be undertaken to support continued essential trade through Port Hedland and includes:

    • $10.5 million to upgrade the entrance road to Boodarie Strategic Industrial Area in Hedland;
    • $20 million for Port Hedland’s Inner Harbour for upgrading retaining and sea walls; and
    • $51.2 million to Nelson Point Tug Haven, one of the original tug havens at the port, for upgrading retaining and sheet pile walls.

    Infrastructure improvements will build on works required following wear and tear, which was worsened following Cyclones Veronica in 2019 and Damien in 2020.

    The port is home to Australia’s largest tug fleet which is critical to maintaining safe and efficient marine operations at the world’s largest bulk export port.

    A request for proposals for the revetment work, as part of the repairs to the Inner Harbour’s retaining and sea walls, is expected to be released next month with construction proposed to start shortly thereafter.

    Pilbara Ports Authority has reached a milestone facilitating a record 717 million tonnes of trade for the financial year as the State sets the road to recovery from COVID-19.

    The massive record output is the equivalent of 13,583 Sydney Harbour Bridges.

    The record volume of imports and exports through the ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland is an increase of three percent from the previous year. Most of the trade was iron ore exports.

    The Port of Port Hedland achieved a record annual throughput of 538 million tonnes, a five percent increase on the previous year.

    As part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, there will be $158.8 million worth of improvements to ports and harbours throughout the State.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Western Australian ports are critical to the State’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Our significant investment in WA ports will help drive ongoing trade through regional WA and will support growth through the State, creating a pipeline of jobs and stimulating the economy. 

    “These important port infrastructure works will ensure Pilbara Ports Authority continue to deliver safe operations and achieve outstanding volumes and records.

    “It’s pleasing to see this uplift as it reinforces WA can do a roaring trade and it’s this sort of business activity that helps the local regional economy and contributes to WA’s recovery journey.”

    As stated by Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

    “This record throughput demonstrates the resilience of WA’s important resource sector and supply chain as the State recovers from COVID-19.

    “We are a trading State, and our economic prosperity relies on our ports: iron ore, gas, grains, alumina and woodchips are driving our export opportunities and underpinning employment across the State.

    “Investing in our publicly-owned port infrastructure is absolutely critical to maintaining and expanding our critical export industries.”

    Premier’s office – 6552 5000

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