Presidents Update August 2019

Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront Project

Stage 2 (b) Jetty Road is underway with this element involving the landscaping of Jetty Road after earlier work stabilising the rock walls. Although the head contractor is from OOA I am told four key subcontractors are locals so that is great. Design and finish is to be consistent with Landcorp work at North Koombana and the COB TBW 1. Includes new parking bays and community facilities as well as land based facilities for pen holders.

The Stage 3 Business case is being finalised and I met with the group doing the Economic Analysis work last week. I emphasised that the original intent of the project was to establish a viable marine industry and generate additional economic development in the city so I am pleased to see some separation of this issue from the broader tourism and hospitality aspects which are more likely to be driven by the marketplace investment environment over the next 20 years. I am convinced that this project will require a major upfront infrastructure investment by the State Government but that this is justifiable if we are the recognise the Second City Status often mentioned within political circles and if we take a medium term rather than short term view.

Westport Review

While the latest report may be disappointing to some I am not concerned as the project wasn’t really set up to deliver alternate outcomes for us as it was focused on containerisation and for a number of related infrastructure, distance and environmental reasons we were not likely to be major players in this space in the medium term.       The process did however sharpen the focus on Bunbury Port and its future opportunities as a commodities port with a fantastic landbank available for downstream manufacturing and new industry opportunities. I believe there will be containerisation opportunities in the future when the business case stacks up for regional volumes and destinations. The process also put addition focus on the need for rail duplication and other improvements so we will hopefully see government support for this, as it will support other projects in the region and future supply chain opportunities. The Fremantle Cockburn model has critical mass but we can also have a role from a risk mitigation perspective should those facilities experience difficulties from urban encroachment and other strategic issues. Pleasing to see a new management focus by SPA with increased regional representation by key management roles.

AGM

With the AGM looming I would encourage members to consider helping shape the future of the organisation and our contribution to the region by nominating for a position on the executive Board. As with most organisations we rely on this voluntary contribution and the talents our members bring to the task to best represent the business community and make a contribution to our collective futures.

Other Activities

Representatives from our organisation have continued to represent the business community in a wide range of forums including:

  • Bunbury Development Committee
  • Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront
  • COB – Meetings with Mayor and CEO
  • Cruise Ship Exchange – Perth
  • Westport forums
  • BORR meetings
  • Halifax Infrastructure Project

Good trading.

David Kerr

Gold Partners