Studies focus on potential

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The live export cattle industry may be set to expand in the Pilbara as two studies begin in Port Hedland.

Funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development through the Northern Beef Futures project, the two studies are set to assess both the feasibility and facility site options near the port of Port Hedland.

The Pilbara turns off about 90,000-100,000 cattle each year from some 60 pastoral stations, calling for the desire for a potential truck wash-down facility and cattle-holding yard near the port.

Pilbara Development Commission acting principal project officer Gus Tampalini said the studies were a part of the commission’s plan to drive new investment opportunities and enable local job creation in the region.

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“Over the last three years, cattle from the Pilbara has been exported from ports across WA from Broome in the north, and as far south as Fremantle,” he said.

“The ability to export locally would improve productivity, generate a greater economic return for the region and result in better environmental outcomes.”

The studies come in the wake of the Northern Beef Infrastructure Review, an audit that identified priority infrastructure to support the successful development of WA’s beef industry.

Mr Tampalini said the current export facilities in the Pilbara were limited for a variety of reasons, including the ability to meet biosecurity requirements.

“These limitations are holding back local export potential and further industry expansion,” he said.

“The Pilbara is a blue-tongue-free zone and with recent events in the Kimberley, the establishment of these facilities could become even more important.”

The studies come after Frontier International South-East Asia began talks with Pilbara Ports Authority to revitalise the live cattle export trade path.

Pilbara Ports Authority development and trade general Lyle Banks said the report indicated within 10 years there could be between 65,000 and 100,000 head exported from Port Hedland

Earlier this year the PPA promised to construct a moveable loading ramp and its ultimate goal was for livestock exports to be transported to the proposed Lumsden Point facility.

The studies are predicted to be completed by next month.

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