Biosecurity nod to open port to world
The Pilbara could soon open its gates to worldwide freight services after the Federal Government ticked off on a key requirement allowing cargo to enter the country through Port Hedland.
Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan last week announced the Port of Port Hedland now met legislative biosecurity requirements, allowing for container cargo and other maritime shipments to the town.
The Pilbara Ports Authority was given the thumbs up after its upgrades to the port’s inspection and fumigation processes, under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015.
Little time has been wasted setting up regular freight services to the town, with the PPA already working with international logistics company Maersk to establish a fortnightly containerised cargo link with Asia.
A State Government release stated that Bridgestone Mining Solutions Australia had looked into an Asian route, with plans to import mining tyres directly from Japan each year.
Goods have traditionally been trucked into the region from Fremantle or Sydney.
Pilbara Ports Authority’s landside operations manager Jon Giles said they had been working with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for the past two years to ensure they met the Federal Government’s First Point of Entry requirements.
He said the approvals meant the port would be able to accept a greater variety of cargo imports.
“We expect to receive more containerised cargo and are also well positioned to attract more roll-on/roll-off cargo vessels as various importers embrace this option,” he said.
“This will provide industry a faster and more cost-effective way to deliver cargo into the region.”
Mr Giles said the PPA would continue to work on getting approvals for each of its ports.
Ms MacTiernan said direct maritime freight would bring new business and job opportunities to the Pilbara.
“We are working closely with Maersk and Bridgestone to set up the first direct freight service to the Pilbara, which could pave the way for a whole range of goods to come directly to the region,” she said.
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