The Town of Port Hedland is set to receive an expert report outlining options for the future management and development of Port Hedland International Airport.
Town of Port Hedland Acting Chief Executive Officer Sid Jain said specialist consultants; The Airport Group has been working on a scoping study, which will be presented formally to Council on 22 April.
“It is important to stress first and foremost that the presentation of the scoping study is just one step in an extensive process with a period of public consultation to run for six weeks during April and May,” Mr Jain said.
“We are in the midst of a stepped process to ensure all the issues are considered appropriately and comprehensively prior to any decisions being made,” Mr Jain said.
“The issues under consideration are technically complex and the opportunities under consideration are significant for the Town.
“These include the potential to consider alternative ways in which we can finance capital improvements to the airport infrastructure and the quality of service for travellers.
“It also extends to the potential to provide improved facilities for export industries in our region, which in turn opens up opportunities to broaden Port Hedland’s economic base.
Mr Jain said it was important to stress that the consultants had been instructed to consider all options but to specifically exclude any sale of the airport facility.
“A potential long-term lease would see the Town retain ownership of the Airport, whilst such a transaction would need to demonstrate significant financial returns to the Town, therefore allowing Council to consider financing important facilities for our residents.
“Additional benefits are also expected to be derived from a long-term lease including external investment in the Airport that would remove the need for debt raising by the Town and potential new Airport development driven by a lessee as seen at many other airports around Australia.
“Any longer term lease would mean that the Town retains ownership of the Airport but potentially provides a substantial financial return that can then be used to finance other important facilities or services for ratepayers.”
Mr Jain emphasised that a comprehensive public consultation period would commence after 22 April and the Town was looking forward to the opportunities to outline the various options to ratepayers and receive feedback.
For more information please refer to the Port Hedland International Airport governance review fact sheet available online at porthedland.wa.gov.au
ACTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL 2015
Released on behalf of: Town of Port Hedland
For media enquiries: Alison Kenny
Senior Communications Officer
PH: (08) 9158 9355