As we head towards the end of this year, I’m already looking forward to 2023.

While for PHIC and our members, 2022 was marked by the State Government’s endorsement of the Port of Port Hedland development plan and the certainty that delivered for future planning, I believe 2023 will provide a new growth phase for PHIC as we welcome associate members.

We launched our Associate Membership opportunity at a Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce Business off the Clock event in late November. It was fantastic to see many local businesses represented and we look forward to welcoming new members early next year.

Associate Membership is an opportunity for businesses in the port Supply chain other than mining companies to join PHIC, bringing with them different perspectives and knowledge that will assist us as we pursue our aim of achieving the sustainable growth of the Port.

It also gives those businesses the opportunity to gain from the knowledge of existing PHIC members.

We have had initial interest from Horizon Power and Regional Development Australia. Engineering and transport companies are also potential members.

I discussed our plans for Associate Membership and the launch at our November Community Industry Forum.

Thank you to all those who have taken the time to deliver presentations at our meetings this year. They are always informative. In November we heard from Australian Border Force, the Pilbara Development Commission, and Pilbara Ports Authority.

I took the opportunity in that meeting to update the community on the results of the first nine months of air quality monitoring by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

It was pleasing to see the announcement last month that the Federal Government will commit up to $250 million in loans to support the expansion of PHIC member Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium operations.

This support consists of a $125 million loan each from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and Export Finance Australia.

PPA’s development plan caters for increased throughput at the Port of Port Hedland not only for iron ore but for future-facing minerals like that produced by Pilbara Minerals.

PHIC members will also benefit from a Federal Budget allocation of $565 million for common user port facilities in the Pilbara to boost the region’s readiness for new green hydrogen markets and its transition to renewable energy.

This money relates to the development of Lumsden Point and Dampier Cargo Wharf link bridge and refurbishment projects.

We will no doubt face challenges in 2023, and the mining sector will continue to be vital to national and State economies.

PHIC’s purpose is to work collaboratively for the benefit of industry, the port, and the town. We did that successfully this year and I have no doubt that an expanded PHIC with new members will achieve success in 2023.