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Blueprint for development of WA's south west coast.



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Media Release

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

18 January 2005

BLUEPRINT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF WA'S SOUTH WEST COAST

A Regional Minerals Program study released today by the Australian and West Australian Governments blueprints energy investment to underpin development of resources valued up to $660 billion in Western Australia's south west coast region.

Federal Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said that the south west coast of Western Australia derives significant economic benefit from a diverse mix of mining and mineral processing activities but its full potential is yet to be tapped.

"The study titled Energy for Minerals Development in the South West Coast Region of Western Australia will examine the cost and availability of energy as a key determinant of project viability in the south west coast region."

"For example, the viability of projects such as an aluminium smelter in the region would be dependent on competitively priced electricity. So it is very important that development of the State’s electricity market continues to encourage competition between generators of electricity," he said.

The Study Report includes a number of key findings, which if adopted, could bring about the following benefits for Western Australian and the region over the period to 2020 if all the minerals development opportunities go ahead:

• Gross State Product could increase by about $18 billion; • 16,200 new jobs could be created; and • Real consumption could increase by more than $16 billion.

"It’s vital for the issues identified in the Report to be addressed so mining and mineral processing development opportunities are maximised. It gives present and future State governments a blueprint to optimal development of the south-west."

"To encourage this process, the Report has made a number of recommendations dealing with availability and price of energy, environmental considerations and infrastructure that need to be addressed.

"In addition, there is a strong need to determine the region’s competitive position with regard to industrial and commercial development and consider how the area's advantages are promoted to key industry stakeholders," Mr Macfarlane said.

ENDS

Copies of the Study Report are available at www.industry.gov.au/rmp.

Department contact: Ian Foster, (02) 6213 7799