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Research assesses beef infrastructure in the Pilbara

Jul 17, 2017

Two studies are currently underway in the Pilbara to investigate the export infrastructure required to expand the region’s beef industry.

Funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development through the Northern Beef Futures project, the studies are assessing both the feasibility and identifying site options for a truck wash-down facility and cattle holding yard near the port of Port Hedland. The Pilbara currently turns-off 90,000 to 100,000 cattle each year from around 60 pastoral stations.

Pilbara Development Commission Acting Principal Project Officer Gus Tampalini said the studies were part of the Commission’s economic diversification strategy to support pastoralists, drive new investment opportunities and enable local job creation in the region.

“Over the last three years, cattle from the Pilbara has been exported from ports across WA from Broome in the north, and as far south as Fremantle,” Mr Tampalini said.

“The ability to export locally would improve productivity, generate a greater economic return for the region and result in better environmental outcomes.”

The studies follow the Northern Beef Infrastructure Review (the Review) conducted in 2016, which identified priority infrastructure to support the successful development of Western Australia’s beef industry.

“The current export facilities in the Pilbara are limited for a variety of reasons, such as the ability to meet biosecurity requirements and appropriately hold cattle prior to export. These limitations are holding back local export potential and further industry expansion. The Pilbara is a “blue tongue” free zone and with recent events in the Kimberley, the establishment of these facilities could become even more important,” Mr Tampalini said.

The Pilbara Development Commission received seed funding from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to complete the studies.

The studies are nearing completion with a peer review currently underway which is expected to be completed in August 2017.

The Northern Beef Futures project is supported by Royalties for Regions.

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