Not the "O" word

After many years of on again off again, promises and predictions, investments and losses; the Oakajee project has been suspended.

Yes, that technically means it could be "un-suspended" in the future if iron ore prices spiked and labour and infrastructure costs fell.  

But it seems that there is so much iron ore in the Pilbara that is much cheaper to extract that it really doesn't make financial sense at the moment to spend up to $8 billion on a port and rail here in the Midwest. 

Environmental activists will count this as a win, and even those who want to see Geraldton prosper financially have pointed out that the project needed to operate for 25 years plus before it even paid for itself. 

Oakajee Port and Rail (the company, not the infrastructure) said they will need to let staff go, as they are also going to move their Jack Hills mine into maintenance mode.

They haven't been able to find a partner to sink the huge amounts of cash into the projects in order to make them happen, and Colin Barnett's recent trips to China have failed to win any investors too.  

Still, most Geraldton locals we speak to about the Oakajee port simply roll their eyes and point out that they're not holding their breathe. 

Ultimately, the final announcement of the suspension of the Oakajee project may mean attention can be paid to all the positive things Geraldton and the Midwest region has going for it, including low unemployment, affordable housing, thriving fishing and agriculture sectors, increasing tourism and great lifestyle.

Geraldton was never a one trick pony.

 

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Jason Smith

Founder of Everything Geraldton, Everything Mandurah, & Everything Perth. Law Student. Father, Husband, Bitcoin, Cigars.