Mount Isa resilience Part 3 - Logistics base

Posted January 3, 2016

This week we are looking into the prospects for Mount Isa minerals province. So far we’ve looked at employment and emerging resource developments. In this instalment we look at why logistics companies are setting up in Mount Isa.  

Mount Isa Mining Supplies owner and deputy mayor Brett Peterson highlights the area’s mature infrastructure – power, water and transport networks – as huge ticks for its ongoing might.

The NEGI project adds weight to this and Cr Peterson hopes it will spur development of a transport and energy corridor between Mount Isa and the Northern Territory.

“They are investigating the feasibility of a Mount Isa to Tennant Creek rail line and it’s essential that we have this corridor put in place in the early stages,” he said.

“What I would like to see is to have the same gauge they’ve got from Adelaide to Darwin, then Mount Isa could become a freight hub for the rest of Queensland from the NT, South Australia and Western Australia. There are some exciting prospects that could come out of the railway line for this area.”

The city’s location, local industries and its established role as an infrastructure hub for the greater region meant it should also be a key focus of the federal Government’s Northern Australia development push, he said.

Global logistics operation EMO Trans has homed in on Mount Isa as a go-ahead place to expand its business.

Locally based Airside Logistics has been acting as an agency for EMO Trans since mid-year, streamlining import/export processes for clients in the North West.

EMO Trans chief executive officer Ian Ahern said the agency gave Mount Isa the customs clearance services that would be expected in a capital city.

“There is a significant number of players up there that have a requirement for international logistics services and product that comes from overseas,” Mr Ahern said.

“What we’re off ering to them is the ability to cut down the turnaround times and have access to services that you would normally expect at larger airports and ports.”

The number of companies requiring such services in Mount Isa was a big factor in drawing EMO Trans to the area, he said.

But Mr Ahern also cited the fact Mount Isa was a ‘go-ahead’ city.

“It’s a progressive town and that makes it the ideal partner for us,” he said.

EMO Trans was also banking on growth when it came to town and the recent approval for Jemena to build the $800 million North East Gas Interconnector pipeline between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa is helping to fulfil that expectation.

Mr Ahern said Mount Isa was the company’s first inland base throughout Australia and its only regional Queensland base apart from Cairns.

The company was the major sponsor for this year’s Northern Outback Business Awards and Mr Ahern said he intended to maintain a high level of community involvement.

“I don’t expect something for nothing. When we go to an area we go there to be part of that area. We’ve always been that sort of business,” he said.

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