Lucky Bay grain port to benefit all of EP

It is to the benefit of all of Eyre Peninsula that our new port facility at Lucky Bay has received well-earned media coverage recently.

It is a huge project that was originally aimed towards shipping iron ore.

It was originally supported by Labor Minister Paul Holloway to allow the shipment of iron ore and a ferry operation.

This project only started because Mr Holloway gave a ministerial exemption for the project to be achieved.

It is just generally accepted that the environment department resists any mining, port facilities or roads that affect native vegetation or coastal areas.

The construction of the marina at Lucky Bay was strongly objected to by some referral departments in the environment department.

When Mr Holloway resigned, support for the multi-use port facility at Lucky Bay changed when new Labor Minister Ian Hunter did not support it and recommended to Planning Minister John Rau that the port be zoned coastal conservation. Unfortunately this placed the shack settlement at Lucky Bay into coastal conservation zoning as well.

If Mr Holloway, who supported Lucky Bay, remained as minister I believe this change of zoning would not have occurred.

The journey to finally building this port facility originally needed my council's hard work and support for the original concept of a ferry operation and iron ore shipment facility.

My council immediately did a development plan amendment to allow the port facility to progress.

I congratulate T-Ports for having the confidence in future ports in other locations as well. With continued support by our current government I hope this can be achieved.

ROBERT WALSH

Franklin Harbour District mayor

Letters to the editor

Supply chain overhaul needed

On reading the Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey's column in the Eyre Peninsula Tribune on August 1, I would like to make some comments as a passionate believer in the introduction of supply chain options to maximise the efficiency and, in-turn, the farm income of grain growers.

Australian grain growers do not receive the same price support, market support or drought support as their counterparts in Europe and America.

Despite this, and while presented with a continually challenging farming environment, their skills, intelligence and resilience have ensured their ongoing success.

It is time that we support their efforts.

I believe it is time to overhaul the supply chain system which has existed for decades, rather than look to spend taxpayer money on short-term gains.

Modern technology allows for change and efficiency, reducing haulage distances and costs. The overcapacity of storage, as described by Mr Ramsey, will be a short-term interim overlap as inefficient sites are closed.

We should remember that SA has one of the highest-cost supply chains in the world.

As with the rest of the country and the world, where supply chain competition has been introduced, it will serve to restructure market and farm business models.

In the case of the EP, some grain storage sites will always be required as growers need to move some grain at harvest to generate cash income.

However, when growers start to use on-farm storage, whether interim short-term methods or the longer-term permanent on-farm storage, their costs will be significantly reduced.

By investing in on-farm storage and eliminating costs such as bunker storage charges and hiring carriers during the peak harvest period, growers can reduce their costs by an estimated $20 to $25 per tonne.

This will require much support work in terms of quality education and assurance programs and will not happen overnight.

It will take time and growers and industry will require support in order to ensure Australia's reputation for quality grain exports is upheld in the marketplace.

I believe the government should look to spend taxpayer money on road improvements to embrace the oncoming changes and reduction in road truck kilometres travelled as a result of the changing supply chain efficiencies.

It could also consider a preferential interest rate loan program for growers to incentivise on-farm storage construction.

Growers will in turn increase their income and thus increase potential taxation returns.

This would not cost the taxpayer a penny and in fact increase tax income, which could be used to support growers in harsh years.

We need to do everything possible to aid in the reduction of the growers' cost structures and increase their ability to compete in an ever more competitive market.

I fully agree with Rowan Ramsey that we should use our hard-earned tax dollars carefully and cleverly.

KIERAN CARVILL

T-Ports chief executive officer