WA government to sell-off port assets


Western Australia (WA) Premier Colin Barnett and treasurer Mike Nahan today revealed the first three WA-owned assets to be sold in a move that aims to raise up to AU$2 billion to reduce the state’s ‘crippling’ debt level.  

The three projects are the Utah Point bulk handling facility, Kwinana Bulk Terminal and the Perth Market Authority, according to Perth Now. Barnett said that the port assets were likely to be sold as long-term leases.

Port Hedland’s Utah Point bulk handling facility is one of four berths owned by the Pilbara Ports Authority and includes a ship-loader, two stockyard product storage facilities and other infrastructure.

The Kwinana Bulk Terminal is owned and operated by the Fremantle Port Authority, exporting and importing bulk products including coal, iron ore, liquefied petroleum gas and cement clinker.

Premier Barnett also said the priority was to regain the state’s AAA credit rating, which was dropped last year by Standard and Poor’s and this week by Moody’s Investors Service.

He said compared to other states, WA’s finances were in good shape, although he would prefer state debt was at around AU$20 billion, as opposed to the current figure of AU$22 billion.

Details of the first round of land sales will be announced in the next few weeks.

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