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PFL certainty essential for Fremantle Port sale, says asset sales head

Posted December 08, 2015 15:47:55

Certainty over the Perth Freight Hyperlink is essential to the sale of the Fremantle Port, the head of the West Australian Government’s asset sales plan says.

The Government has committed to constructing Roe 8, the 1st stage of the controversial Perth Freight Link, but Premier Colin Barnett has put stage two of the project to Fremantle on the back burner.

Mr Barnett cited the complexity and expense of the project as reasons along with the government’s want to concentrate on priority projects like Roe 8, the Forrestfield Airport rail link and the Swan Valley bypass.

Speaking to a crowd of organization leaders, WA Treasury executive director of strategic projects and asset sales Richard Mann said the Government needed to confirm the technique and timing of the project, which would turn into a strategic transport route to the port.

“We count on those choices to be created over the coming months and they will obviously be factored into our transaction,” he mentioned.

He said the Government might provide possible purchasers of the port a lease longer than 49 years, despite previously stating that would be the time period set on the sale.

“There is undoubtedly been no choice on a 49-year lease for Fremantle,” Mr Mann mentioned.

“The lease term is fundamental to dealing with the quantity factors you happen to be talking about, expansion and growth in particular.

“That will be a important policy decision for the Government and you’d be conscious that the majority of port transactions in Australia, the lease term has been drastically longer than 49 years.

“If you happen to be speaking about expansion and development over time and return on investment, then a quick lease term can make that pretty hard, so the quantity one particular consideration for government is, how extended is the lease term in order to facilitate those objectives?” Mr Mann said.

Prospect of longer lease welcomed

Chamber of Commerce and Sector chief executive Deirdre Willmot stated certainty about stage two was required for organizations and welcomed recommendations a longer lease would be supplied to possible purchasers.

“If that offers opportunities for a wider range of investors to place proposals to the government … that is very good news,” she stated.

“There’s been a commitment to Roe 8, we’re nonetheless waiting for the particulars on what the final access to the port will be and that is critical for long term users and potential owners of the port.

“The time has genuinely come where we require those new plans to be finalised so there is that certainty.”

The Government announced the sale of the port in the May possibly spending budget but it is anticipated any final decision on the contract would need to be regarded by Cabinet.

Topics: public-sector, sea-transport, government-and-politics, fremantle-6160

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