The Labor Party says its plan to establish a new multi-user deep water port in the Spencer Gulf will benefit farmers and exporters through greater competition and connect mining projects like Iron Road’s Central Eyre Iron project, to the world.
The Labor Party announced more details of its port plan on Saturday, promising $150 million of equity for a new South Australian Ports Authority to oversee the development of ports including the proposed Spencer Gulf project.
The equity injection would allow the new authority to borrow more than $500 million to develop the new port, which would be capable of hosting cape-size vessels.
The authority will test the market through an expression of interest seeking private sector involvement in planning projects and identifying appropriate locations.
In addition to overseeing the funding and development of a new port, the authority would also investigate opportunities to help fast-track private sector port proposals across the state, such as the ICAM/Duxton – Sea Transport Lucky Bay Project, Iron Road’s Cape Hardy port, and a standalone port at Decres Bay.
Private facilities like the Whyalla port would also be able to access assistance through the authority.
Liberal member for Flinders Peter Treloar said a port sited on lower Spencer Gulf would give a freight advantage over Whyalla.
“Deep water ports at Cape Hardy and Port Spencer and a transhipping operation at Lucky Bay are or have been serious contenders,” he said.
“Cape Hardy, as an example, currently has approvals in place and environment studies completed – with 21 metres of water within a kilometre.”
Australian Conservatives candidate for Flinders Tony Parker said the most logical site for the port would be Cape Hardy.
“We are pro-infrastructure and this port has to be built on a site where it can accommodate multiple commodities,” Mr Parker said.
“We are determined to have a port.
“We are here to support and have a partnership with an ultimate commitment to build this port.”