EP councils support Cape Hardy port proposal

Eyre Peninsula councils will lobby for Cape Hardy to be the location for the Labor Party’s promised multi-commodity deep-sea port in the Spencer Gulf.

At the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association (EPLGA) conference in Port Lincoln last month, the 11 member councils passed a motion supporting Cape Hardy as the most suitable location for the port.

Association president Sam Telfer said there had been a lot of discussion about the location.

“The EPLGA decided that for a multi-commodity port, Cape Hardy would be the most suitable location,” Mr Telfer said.

“There has been much discussion about the deep sea port but the approvals for the port at Cape Hardy have showed support.

“The RDA (Regional Development Australia) is also supportive of Cape Hardy.”

He also said the location was advantageous, particularly agriculturally.

“For a mining and agricultural port, Cape Hardy is more advantageous over a port in Whyalla, especially for agriculture.”

Wudinna mayor Eleanor Scholz said councils within the Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP) area, along with the EPLGA, Natural Resources Management and Climate Council, had previously signed memorandums of understanding to work together and have been over a number of years.

“From a Wudinna District Council perspective, a deep sea multi-user port at Cape Hardy could mean direct savings benefits back to farmers across the region of some $5 million by introduction of freight competition,” she said.

“We have all seen the deterioration of the rail network over the years and a multi-user port opens opportunities to relieve the pressure of heavy traffic on the Tod Highway.”

Iron Road’s community liaison officer Tim Scholz said the EPLGA’s decision was quite significant, particularly for the CEIP.

“Cape Hardy has been the preferred site for the past seven or eight years, it was selected by Iron Road after a lot of research and they own quite a bit of land at the port site,” he said.

“It is extremely logical from an Iron Road point of view – it is a deep water port which is needed to cope with the vessels.”

Mr Scholz said having council support was a “boost”.

“It is pleasing to see the councils are thinking regionally and the fact they have supported it is heartening,” he said.

“There is some way to go as it is a big project.

“To have the councils come together is a boost for Iron Road and the Central Eyre Iron Project.”

Ms Scholz said it was “timely” for Eyre Peninsula councils to come together.

“Our council supports best outcomes for agriculture and mining and other potential industries that an investment from a state government would bring,” she said.

“It is timely that Eyre Peninsula can work together to see some state government investment in such a productive region of the state’s economy.”