Port of Port Hedland grows WA economy

Article by Olivier Thompson, courtesy of Australian Mining.

A new report, ‘The Economic Significance of the Port of Port Hedland’, found that the Port of Port Hedland supported one in nine full time jobs in the 2022–23 financial year (FY23).

The report was compiled by ACIL Allen for the Port Hedland Industries Council (PHIC). It found that the Port of Port Hedland and the trade it facilitated contributed $103 billion to Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in FY23.

The Lumsden Point General Cargo Facility, which recently locked in deals with Mineral Resources (MinRes) and Pilbara Minerals, is estimated to add $22.6 billion to Australia’s GDP over a 10-year period starting from FY24. It will also support economic diversification and decarbonisation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The Port of Port Hedland and the trade it facilitated also contributed $2.01 billion to Port Hedland’s gross regional product in FY23, with $678 million direct economic activity supporting an additional $1.33 billion in indirect economic activity. Local income increased by $1.02 billion and supported 8158 direct and indirect full-time jobs locally.

In the Pilbara region, it contributed $63.3 billion in gross product, supported 22,487 direct and indirect full-time jobs, and generated $3.1 billion in incomes.

Across WA, it contributed nearly $91 billion to the state economy, accounting for more than 20 per cent of gross state product. It also boosted incomes by about $16 billion, created or supported 126,000 full time jobs, and paid about $6 billion in taxes and royalties to the state government.

“The report reflects that the benefit of the hard work of Port Hedland, PHIC members and the resource sector flows well beyond the Pilbara,” PHIC chief executive officer Kirsty Danby said.

“The one figure which encapsulates that economic might is that the Port and its supply chain is responsible for one in every nine full time jobs in WA. It is vital that our resources sector continues to be supported to ensure it remains internationally competitive so that the benefits continue to flow across the nation.”

PHIC members such as Pilbara Ports, BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill, MinRes, Pilbara Minerals, and Consolidated Minerals contributed production and financial details for the report.

Publicly available information for Atlas Iron, Rio Tinto (Dampier Salt), Newcrest Mining and Element 25 also contributed to the financial modelling.

Looking ahead, the Port of Port Hedland and the Lumsden Point supply chain is anticipated to support more than 200,000 jobs, as well as deliver $851.4 billion in gross product during the 10 years up to 2032­–33.

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