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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 317 asked in the Legislative Council on 9 May 2018 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 9 May 2018

      317. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Leader of the House representing the Premier:
I refer to the Premier's media statement from 4 May regarding a lithium refinery in Kwinana.
      (1) Did the state government make any effort to incentivise the refinery to be built in Kalgoorlie rather than Kwinana?
(2) If yes to (1), will the Premier outline the incentives offered?
(3) If no to (1), why not?
(4) Does the government consider Kwinana a more appropriate location for the refinery?
      (5) Does the Premier concede that this is a missed opportunity for the growth of the Kalgoorlie community?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation advises the following.
(1) Yes.
      (2) The state government commissioned an engineering report, for $55 000, on options for provision of services for the Mungari strategic industrial area—Mungari—and the Kalgoorlie region to assist the proponent in its site deliberations. The government encouraged the proponent on several occasions to discuss possible funding to extend any required service infrastructure to Mungari, but the proponent did not take up that offer. The government highlighted the cost benefit of Mungari, including, significantly: reduced lease costs for Mungari compared with Kwinana and Kemerton; and cost savings in waste disposal on-site that were not available in Kwinana and Kemerton. The government escorted the proponents to Kalgoorlie and Mungari on several occasions to inspect land and infrastructure, and visited Kalgoorlie, where special attention was given to housing and education facilities. The government also coordinated a meeting between the proponent, the mayor and chief executive officer of the City of Kalgoorlie so that they could provide an overview of the services available locally in the region.
(3) Not applicable.
(4) The proponent advises that Kwinana is its preferred location based on pre-feasibility studies.
      (5) The government welcomes Western Australia Lithium's decision to locate its lithium refinery in Western Australia. This is an excellent opportunity for the state. Almost 400 jobs will be created during construction of the refinery. The goldfields region will also benefit from the development of the lithium mine and concentrator at Mt Holland, south-east of Southern Cross, which will create approximately 300 regional jobs during construction and 150 jobs during the operational phase.