The Mid West region for CME includes the Gascoyne and covers a total area of 610,000km2 with 22 local government jurisdictions.
The emergence of the region as a new minerals and energy province - contributing over $2.67b to the economy in 2010/2011 - is resulting in a shift to a new economic base. The resource sector has a key role in the future development of the area and will continue to act as a vital source of economic stimulus and a catalyst for regional growth.
Iron ore from the Mid West had total sales value of over $677 million in 2010/11 and future production will be bolstered by the $2.5b Karara project which will begin delivering some 8mtpa of iron products from September 2012.
Other active mines in the region include Iluka (mineral sands), Rio Tinto (talc), MMG Golden Grove (copper, zinc), Mount Magnet Gold (gold), Newmont Jundee (gold) and Xstrata (nickel). Mines advancing towards production include Kentor (gold), Sandfire (copper) and Gunson (mineral sands). The Mid West is also likely to see uranium produced by Toro Energy in 2014.
Economic contributions through salaries and wages, payments of taxes and royalties to governments and through the support of local suppliers, contractors and other businesses have a huge positive impact locally, regionally and nationally. Between June 2008 and July 2012, the Karara project spent over $220m in the Mid West and employed 296 local businesses.
CME in the Mid West
Within the Mid West CME is focused on the following strategies to deliver the industry’s vision:
- An industry-government infrastructure plan for state and regional development
- Coordination between the responsibilities of government, industry and community in the provisions of social and physical infrastructure
- Contributing to community development and effective community engagement
- Ensuring education and training systems are responsive to industry needs
- Increasing the size of the skilled labour pool
- Access to efficient, secure and cost effective energy and power generation
- Evidence gathering from stakeholders on their perceptions of the industry
- Participation in community engagement forums
- Stakeholder engagement
- Membership of the Mid West Development Commission’s Infrastructure Planning Committee
- Participating on the Mid West Regional Planning Committee
- Working with regional education providers to align and coordinate programs and support careers events
- Improving communication between industry and stakeholders
- Oakajee – current, expansion and new projects are looking for export capacity that doesn’t yet exist, limiting economic growth in the region
- Geraldton Port – capacity, infrastructure and transitional arrangements prior to Oakajee
- Workforce – recruiting good professionals, skills shortage
- Energy – timely delivery of MWEP northern section
- FIFO – support and recognition of the importance of FIFO as a choice
- Aviation – Perth airport delays and various arrangements surrounding charter licensing
CME’s Mid West Regional Council is chaired by Mark Gell from Karara Mining Ltd.