Lumsden Point still on agenda

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Pilbara Ports Authority has reassured business owners in Port Hedland that Lumsden Point has not been forgotten.

At Port Hedland’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry September Business Breakfast last week, Pilbara Ports Authority chief executive Roger Johnston explained to attendees the works were under way at the minor port facility.

Mr Johnston said no funding outline in the recent State Budget was not unusual because work needed to be done first before funding could be allocated.

“Pilbara Ports Authority is in the process of creating a business case to develop Lumsden Point in order to gain funding for preliminary works and seek expressions interest to develop the port facilities at Port Hedland,” he said.

“Lumsden Point has been identified as the preferred location for the development of a new General Cargo Facilities and Logistics Hub to capitalise on reclaimed land areas from previous port expansions and its close proximity to the Great Northern Highway. The preliminary works require dredging of a short channel and ship-turning area to connect Lumsden Point to the deeper waters in the Inner Harbour.”

Mr Johnston said through a negotiation with Fortescue Metals Group, initial dredging was set to begin this year, down to a footprint of minus 8m of the area and, from there, the authority would develop its business plan to gain funding for the rest of the development.

Proposed at the height of the mining boom, the Pilbara Maritime Common Use Facility in Hedland’s port would have provided the resources and defence industries with access to infrastructure to make and replace parts on vessels such as tug boats.

However, the project went cold in 2016 after the Department of Commerce announced the hub was no longer being considered for development.

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