03/04/2008 - 14:00

Buckeridge's James Point revs up Kwinana port campaign

03/04/2008 - 14:00

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The Len Buckeridge-backed James Point Pty Ltd has signalled its intention to press ahead with a private port in Cockburn Sound, appointing two high profile players from the sector to head the company.

The Len Buckeridge-backed James Point Pty Ltd has signalled its intention to press ahead with a private port in Cockburn Sound, appointing two high profile players from the sector to head the company.

The James Point project has long been delayed by its inability to gain approvals from the state government, which is evaluating a competing port project from the Fremantle port authority.

Former Melbourne Port Corporation managing director and former WA Department of Transport director-general Dr Chris Whitaker has taken on the role of chairman at James Point after being commissioned to conduct a review of the company's progress over the past decade.

Former Port Hedland chief Ian Hutton has become CEO at James Point.

Former James Point chairman Hans Moonen will step down from an executive role but stay as an investor and board member.

Dr Whitaker believes the first stage of the port could be completed within two years, once a Metropolitan Region Scheme amendment was gained. The full port could be up and running three years after the first stage was completed.

He said James Point shareholders were committed to go ahead despite the project having been stalled for years, with proponents claiming the state government was opposed to its private solution to impending capacity constraints in the inner harbour.

The state is looking at its own $1.3 billion plans for put a port in the Cockburn Sound area offshore from Kwinana.
Dr Whitaker said his review showed there was unmet demand for bulk facilities.

The company was also seeking to accelerate the development of the stage two of the project which included a container facility.

"We recognise that stage two is an alternative to the Fremantle Port Authority's proposals, however James Point is fully funded by the private sector and can be completed at a fraction of the cost," he said in a statement.

Construction magnate Mr Buckeridge is a major shareholder in James point but does not hold a majority stake.

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