Miners face $95m rise in port fees to fill Budget hole

Gary Adshead, State Political EditorThe West Australian
VideoSpirit Hedland interview with Gary Adshed on a rise in Pilbara port fees.

Mining companies will pay $95 million more in port and shipping fees in the Pilbara as part of a money-raising measure about to be unveiled by the State Government.

Rises of up to 17 per cent will hit port charges in Port Hedland and Dampier, but junior mining companies operating from the Utah Point bulk-handling facility will continue to enjoy discounted rates.

The Government will impose a 2.5 per cent increase in port fees at Fremantle and 0.5 per cent increase in charges in Albany, Esperance and Bunbury.

Premier Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt are today expected to outline increases in fees and charges for households across WA.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the new charges in the Pilbara were between 3¢ and 4¢ more a tonne and would come into effect before October.

She said the added costs were part of the Government’s Budget repair measures and would bring in the extra $95 million over the next four years. “Everyone will share the burden to help pay for the Liberals and Nationals out-of-control spending,” Ms Saffioti said.

“Fixing the mess we have inherited will take time, but we will do everything possible to minimise the impact. That’s why we have extended the discount for junior miners, giving them confidence going forward.”

The $2.50 a tonne discount was introduced in 2015 and extended by the previous government.

Ms Saffioti said the Mid West Ports Authority in Geraldton would introduce a 3 per cent increase and the Port of Broome a 2 per cent rise.

The Government also confirmed it was still considering selling the Utah Point bulk-handling facility in Port Hedland.

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