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Western Australia needs a state-wide infrastructure plan to support mining and resources growth, says peak industry body
Historic Golden Mile Loopline Railway from Kalgoorlie to Boulder in WA Goldfields set to live again
The peak industry body representing West Australian miners says the public and private sector need to work together to formulate a state-wide infrastructure plan for resources growth.
In its latest 10-year outlook report, released late last year, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy outlined the widespread shift from project construction to production within the WA resources sector since 2013.
But Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia infrastructure manager Andrew Winter said the apparent slowdown and recent drop in iron ore prices should not be seen as a diminishing resources market.
Mr Winter said WA's transition into a mining production phase would rely on improved infrastructure.
"The need for infrastructure capacity across [roads, ports and aviation] will need to be expanded," he said.
Mr Winter said industry and government need to work together to formulate a focussed state-wide plan to improve infrastructure and access corridors.
He said the resources sector needrf the "adequate protection of transport corridors and industrial buffers".
"What the Chamber would be advocating for is a broader infrastructure plan, and, as part of that, an advisory board to the government on appropriate projects which should be funded to meet the needs of the state for the next few years," he said.
Mr Winter said such a plan would need to bring together key stakeholders.
"[They would need to] get a really good understanding about what the state's infrastructure requirements are, whether that be for water, energy, roads, rail, ports, aviation and telecommunications," he said.
Mr Winter said there "have been improvements" in the government's ability to plan for infrastructure, including the Regional Freight Transport Network Plan, released in 2013, and the state's regional blueprints.
South West region potentialGrowth of the south-west region's $1.9 billion resources sector is going to rely heavily on improved infrastructure and port access.
Mr Winter said although mineral sands and alumina miners throughout the Peel and the Geographe were not as large as northern iron ore companies, they were significant economic contributors to the region.
He said the release of the South West Regional Blueprint last week outlined some of the region's potential.
But Mr Winter said port access was key, and said that relied on further stages to the Bunbury Outer Ring Road and the Busselton Airport expansion.
Coal mine future speculationGriffin Coal spokesman David Trench denied media reports that his company was planning to sell the Collie mine.
Indian company Lanco acquired Griffin Coal in 2011 and reports in Bloomberg and The West Australian this week quoted Lanco's chief operating officer T. Adi Babu as saying the company would sell the mine.
Griffin Coal's viability was called into question earlier this year when Lanco reported a $44.5 million loss in its December quarter.
The huge loss was attributed to the tumbling global coal price.
Mr Trench said the comments about a planned sale of the mine were inaccurate.
Mr Trench said it would be "unviable" for Lanco to sell its Australian assets in the current climate.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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