Member for Mining and Pastoral Region Jacqui Boydell MLC this week moved a motion to refer the Pilbara Port Assets (Disposal) Bill 2015 to a Parliamentary Committee for further consideration in detail.
Ms Boydell said the decision of the State Parliament’s Upper House to support her motion to refer the Bill to the Standing Committee on Legislation would be vital to ensuring any long term lease arrangements serve in the best interests of all Western Australians.
“The Nationals WA have concerns about the level of detail in the Bill,” Ms Boydell said.
“As it stands, this Bill is essentially only enabling legislation. The Treasurer needs to address some key aspects relating to the condition of lease, tender process and access regime.
“We believe referring the Pilbara Port Assets (Disposal) Bill 2015 to the Standing Committee on Legislation will allow these issues to be addressed.”
Ms Boydell said the Committee would need to consider whether the sale process would deliver a fair outcome to junior miners, who use the port, and for which the facility was built for.
“Although the Treasurer’s office has addressed some concerns raised by both junior miners and The Nationals WA, I believe that additional consideration is required in this disposal process,” Ms Boydell said.
“It is my job to look after the interests of the people in my electorate who live in Port Hedland and who work for the junior miners that operate out of the facility.
“The Nationals position on the disposal of state-owned assets is clear. We will only support the sale or lease of assets if there is a demonstrable benefit to the users of the asset and to regional WA.
“While The Nationals WA is supportive of asset sales, the Party will consider each individual asset sale on a case-by-case basis on its individual merits and the benefits it might have for our constituents.”
The Standing Committee on Legislation will inquire into and report on the policy of the Bill by no later than May 17, 2016.