All hail Oakagee: Barnett

In a wide-ranging parliamentary address delivered yesterday afternoon, the premier said the Oakajee project would help kick-start a new mining-based industry in the state’s Mid West region, attracting customers, encouraging private investment and creating jobs.“Oakajee is a chance to build something that this state does not have – an industrial estate, adjacent to a deep water port, close to an established city in a resource-rich region,” Barnett said.“It provides the opportunity to attract our customers, mainly manufacturing companies, that can bring some of their production capacity to Western Australia to transform our natural resources into higher value products. “As such, it will finally enable us to broaden our economy from the selling of raw materials to the production and export of a wider range of processed products.”The development agreement with the preferred port infrastructure developer, Oakajee Port and Rail – an equal joint venture between Murchison Metals and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation – is expected to be finalised by the end of the month.The premier also used his address to talk up the WA government’s support for uranium mining, describing the previous ban as “nonsensical”.He said lifting the ban on yellowcake mining would deliver millions of dollars in royalties and revenue, create job opportunities and allow Western Australia to tap into the growing global demand for nuclear energy.The premier was upbeat about the impact of the global economic crisis on WA, saying the state had the opportunity to be “counter-cyclical”.

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