28/05/2008 - 22:00

Mid West race is on

28/05/2008 - 22:00

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The two companies battling for the right to develop potentially lucrative port and railway infrastructure in the Mid West region are set to hit the airwaves as they seek community support for their proposals.

Mid West race is on

The two companies battling for the right to develop potentially lucrative port and railway infrastructure in the Mid West region are set to hit the airwaves as they seek community support for their proposals.

The mining companies behind the infrastructure providers - Murchison Metals Ltd and Midwest Corporation Ltd - have ceased hostilities after announcing a merger proposal this week, but it's still game on in the infrastructure battle.

Murchison Metals is the joint owner of Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR), while Midwest Corp has nominated Yilgarn Infrastructure Ltd as its preferred infrastructure provider.

OPR and Yilgarn are looking to win community support as the state government deliberates over their competing proposals to build a new port north of Geraldton and a railway to proposed iron ore mines in the hinterland.

Last week, Yilgarn Infrastructure contributed $20,000 to become a strategic partner for a major marketing campaign, run by the Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to attract skilled labour to the region.

The campaign, entitled 'Geraldton - A Climate of Opportunity', will be launched next month with television, print and radio advertising to run over a 12-month period promoting the region as a great place to live and work.

The strategy also incorporates a recruitment drive to the eastern states to attract workers.

Yilgarn executive director Derek Bone said the campaign was a pro-active effort to address the region's skills shortage, which could be exacerbated once construction of the port and rail begins late next year.

Meanwhile OPR has already hit the airwaves through its alliance with the Fremantle Football Club, with a three-month television campaign promoting its commitment to the region and featuring Dockers player Paul Haselby.

Earlier this year, OPR signed on as a strategic partner with the sporting club and has engaged the club's marketing services until mid-year, a partnership that could be extended to three years if the Oakajee tender is successful.

Through that alliance, OPR is also sponsoring the region's Great Northern Football League for the 2008 season.

OPR's sporting alliance follows Yilgarn's $20,000 partnership with the region's Chapman Valley Football Club. The Oakajee port and rail infrastructure will allow the region's iron ore miners to develop large-scale projects, with exports projected at more than 45 million tonnes per annum from around 2010.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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