26/05/2009 - 15:03

WA lacking in key infrastructure: report

26/05/2009 - 15:03

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The first ever national audit of the resources export chain has found key infrastructure shortfalls in Western Australia's $59 billion minerals and energy sector.

WA lacking in key infrastructure: report

The first ever national audit of the resources export chain has found key infrastructure shortfalls in Western Australia's $59 billion minerals and energy sector.

A report by the Minerals Council of Australia found inadequate infrastructure, such as ports, roads, rail and land, in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West, Goldfields-Esperance and South West-Peel regions.

The Kimberley, Pilbara and South West-Peel regions were identified as needing the most attention, with the report suggesting the development of an integrated water strategy for the Pilbara.

Upgrades and new roads to key development areas and development of export ports for minerals and gas in the Kimberley and increasing capacity of the rail network in the South West-Peel region have also been recommended.

The report also suggested expanding the Esperance port and accommodating the increasing population in the Goldfields-Esperance region and developing a new multi-user rail system to service new mines in the Mid West.

The report is the second stage of the council's Vision 2020 project, which was officially launched last year.

"The findings suggest some of Australia's export infrastructure has suffered from a cancer of neglect and is in a critical state of inadequacy," the council said in a statement today.

"The report highlights the need to upgrade and expand transport networks and introduce whole-of-supply-chain strategies in the planning and regulation construction of ports, railways and roads."

"Extensive investment in hard infrastructure - the main contribution the private sector can make - will depend on getting the regulatory environment right so that investors feel confident about putting their money into building capacity."

The value of the state's minerals and energy production in fiscal 2008 was $58.6 billion, as calculated by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

Separately, the Pilbara is valued at $21.5 billion, Peel is $4.5 billion, Mid West at $2.3 billion, Kimberley at $1.5 billion, Goldfields-Esperance at $7.8 billion and Commonwealth Offshore Petroleum at $18.4 billion.

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