Western Australia puts around $2bn in state-owned assets on chopping block
The state of Western Australia announced Thursday it plans to sell about $2 billion worth of government-owned assets, including part of the Port Hedland shipping terminal, as its resource-heavy economy deals with the end of a decade-long mining boom.
This way the iron ore-rich state, where most of Australia’s ore is mined, has become the latest of the country’s debt-laden regional governments to announce a selloff of state-owned infrastructure.
The move, Reuters report, will be followed by other unspecified sales of land and assets that could fetch between A$4 to A$5 billion.
Australian states are moving in greater numbers toward a grand selloff of government-owned assets ranging from ports to highways, as they scramble to raise as much as $300 billion to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure.
Earlier this year, New South Wales sold a 99-year lease on Newcastle Port—the world’s biggest—to a clutch of Chinese and local buyers for A$1.75 billion. That followed the sale last year of the state’s Port Botany shipping-container facility.
In November, Queensland state sold the Port of Brisbane for A$2.3 billion to a consortium of pension and sovereign-wealth funds, followed this year by the sale of toll-road operator Queensland Motorways for A$7.06 billion.
Port Hedland’s Utah Point bulk handling facility is one of four berths owned by the Pilbara Ports Authority. It includes a ship loader, two stockyard product storage facilities and supporting infrastructure.