About Kwinana Industries Council
The Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) is an incorporated business association with membership drawn from the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA). It is the premier industrial estate in Western Australia, covering an area approximately 8km north-south and 2km east-west, on the eastern side of Cockburn Sound some 30km south of the Perth CBD.
What We Do
- Promote industry
- Attract industry
- Improve the international competitiveness of the industrial area
What is KIC?
KIC is a not-for-profit incorporated business association with its membership drawn from the major industries and businesses in the Kwinana Industrial Area.
THE KIC WAS INCORPORATED IN 1991 WITH THE PRIMARY GOALS OF:
- promoting a positive image of Kwinana industries;
- facilitating community access to Kwinana industries;
- promoting high standards of business ethics and practices;
- promoting and advancing the common interests of Kwinana industries;
- liaising with stakeholders in relation to the environment, public health, safety and industrial development, either as an association or on behalf of its Members, to ensure cost efficiency and protection of Members’ interests;
- detecting, determining and collating data relating to environmental emissions as a result of industry activity.
KIC ACHIEVES THESE GOALS THROUGH:
- industry leadership and advocacy;
- commitment to environmental sustainability and harmony; and
- community engagement and support.
What We Do
The Western Trade Coast is the State’s Premier Industrial Area. Collectively, the industries located within the WTC generate significant wealth for Western Australia. Individually, the industries focus on delivering finished product to their customers at internationally competitive prices, and this takes a great deal of focus. KIC can assist with elevating the reputation of the collective on the State and world stages, and by doing so, strengthen the industrial cluster. Promoting industry within the WTC assists with garnering the support of government agencies and departments to plan for and deliver de-bottlenecking infrastructure, regulatory and land use planning improvements for industry.
A measure of the strength of an industrial area is the economic contribution to the economy of the sovereign government that the resident industries make. Every industry present in the cluster benefits from any industrial symbiosis opportunities available, through lower costs of production or higher returns. As the industrial area continues to fill up, it gains economic strength. One of the ways to assist this process is to have engagement in activities that attract new industries to the cluster. KIC actively works on industry attraction, and if potential new entrant company wants to explore the opportunities and benefits of being located in the cluster, they need only to make contact with KIC to progress discussions.
Improve the international competitiveness of the industrial area
KIC works on behalf of its members to resolve issues that constrain the industrial area from providing a competitive business environment. What does this mean? Well, if there are aspects of the common user infrastructure – roads, rail, port, future industrial land availability, excessive red tape and such like – KIC will work with government to remove these constraints. Whilst there must be a long-term focus on the resolution of any such constraints on industry, there are many other small-picture constraints, the removal of which all add up to improving the international competitiveness of individual companies operating within the cluster. It is pleasing that there is substantial progress being made on many fronts.
“Many who have taken the tours have chosen to locate their projects within the WTC partly as a result of the information and insights provided to them.”
How We Do It
The Director offers tours of the WTC to parties who have expressed an interest in understanding the nature of the industrial cluster. Tours are provided for a range of reasons. Participants have been local, state and Federal politicians and public servants, international trade delegates, national and international investors and major infrastructure builders looking for projects. A consistent theme since 2017 has been increasing numbers of participants from within the national and international Lithium sector… These people have projects and they are assessing the WTC as a locational option for further consideration. Many who have taken the tours have chosen to locate their projects within the WTC partly as a result of the information and insights provided to them.
Industrial advocacy is at the heart of how KIC goes about achieving its purpose. Alerting decision-makers, usually from within the public sector, to issues is necessary work. We work collaboratively to remove constraints and this is an effective way to achieve positive outcomes for industry. This work can be in response to an issue of collegiate significance, or it can be an individual company issue, the resolution of which can be as simple as drawing the matter to the attention of the right person in the public sector. The effectiveness of this work is built upon respectful relationships, measured, reasoned perspectives, and public sector governance requirements. KIC does not seek to advocate for industry by way of political donations, or corporate gifts and hospitality.
I have had the pleasure of working with the KIC on its Executive Committee for the past seven years, and in my second year as President I am pleased to provide this summary on behalf of the KIC Board.
Welcome to the 2019 KIC Annual Report. Activities described in this report will provide a clear insight to how KIC members are proactively working with each other and the boarder community to ensure a sustainable, bright, long term future exists for all.
Economically, the past 12 months has seen improved confidence within most sectors relating to KIC member industries. Against a backdrop of consecutive years of relatively low Australian CPI growth, all businesses have been working hard to ensure they remain competitive, optimise costs and improve their overall productivity. Commodity prices are generally holding steady after coming off historic lows for most businesses. Pleasingly, exporting industrial local businesses selling in US dollars have enjoyed some currency exchange ‘breathing space’ with the softening of the Australian dollar in 2019.
Over my 25 years working in industry, I have seen many changes in economic conditions and have been inspired by the determination of Kwinana industry to innovate, adapt and remain relevant. Unfortunately, a number of similar industrial operations throughout Australia have been slow to change and as a result have either reduced operational activities or transitioned their investments offshore.
For the most part, the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) has punched well above its weight, and is recognised internationally for its growth, longevity and the +150 cross boundary process flow synergies between KIA businesses.
The KIA has been successful because firstly, businesses seize opportunity and secondly, they have highly determined, talented and committed employees. Businesses and their employees have worked hard to remain competitive and adapt to various economic headwinds with great success for them and the local community.
Another ingredient underpinning the success of the KIA is how neighbouring industries proactively come together to address common strategic issues, both current and on the horizon – and that’s where KIC comes in. KIC ensures there is a strong platform for industries to work together and resolve issues of a broader critical importance.
Some might see industry as undesirable, but the reality is that modern society is highly reliant on the existence of efficient industries. Whether it is electricity to power our homes and businesses, efficient clean fuels for transport, the production of crops and other foods we eat, chemicals to sanitise the water we drink or products to construct buildings, industry is fundamentally critical in ensuring modern society functions well.
These days, the stereotype that industry generates pollution and causes harm to the community could not be more wrong.
All major Australian industries require a licence to operate which limits any adverse impacts, and ensures they act responsibly and within the law. It has been especially pleasing during my career to see KIC members consistently improve their performance across a range of important communal areas including; safety, health and wellbeing, emissions reduction, recycling and reduced waste generation. There will always be further opportunity to improve, and KIC members will be among the first to recognise the importance for industry to continue to enhance its operations.
Last year, I reported the KIC part-funded the “Lithium Valley Report” which was generated by Regional Development Australia. The study outlined the merits of Kwinana as a global hub for lithium related industries. I’m pleased to report that our support has generated investment interest locally and internationally. The Tianqi Lithium Plant is now nearing completion, BHP is presently expanding its nickel sulphate production (battery material precursor), and the Covalent Lithium Plant is expected to commence construction in 2020. These investments and a number of others in neighbouring industries will employ large workforces and KIC fully expects additional synergies formed between these new industries and existing ones will continue to deliver significant competitive advantages to participating businesses. We look forward to updating our integrated assessment on the Kwinana Industrial Area to better quantify the value created and growth in economic worth to the State.
Our ongoing strategy to maintain the buffer and secure protection from incompatible development around the industrial area remains a key focus for the KIC. It is important to protect the KIA, which currently generates more than 30,000 jobs, and $16 billion of annual output. For this reason, KIC continues to advocate for its’ application for a Special Control Area (SCA) to be successful. A SCA will allow for greater certainty of areas of land allocated for industrial and non-industrial development. This includes supporting responsible, compatible development and protecting against incompatible development. The value the KIA delivers cannot be underestimated, and protecting the industrial buffer is essential. KIC is determined and continues to shine a light on this issue, seeking positive outcomes with the WAPC and the State Government.
“I trust KIC’s 2019 Annual Report provides readers with useful detail relating to some of the activities undertaken by KIC member industries. I’d like to recognise the outstanding support KIC members receive from the KIC secretariat, Chris Oughton, Debbie Hoey and Yvonne Noack, and I am also very grateful for the commitment shown by our Executive, Board, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.”
Mr Albert Romano
Kwinana Industries Council President
The Western Trade Coast is the State’s premier industrial area, pumping around $16Bn into the State economy each year, and employing around 30,000 workers directly and indirectly.
There is land available within the buffer to easily double these figures. We are seeing the resurgence of the industrial area, with all of the interest associated with Lithium Valley and Westport; the new port for Kwinana. This will translate into jobs for our kids and for our communities, and long term economic growth for our State.
Our Education Development Program (EDP) is continuing to expand, to deliver on its objectives and targets, and to impress with the quality of its outcomes.
There was plenty of activity to keep us all busy at KIC during 2018/19.
- The formal emergence of Lithium Valley as a place where the ‘lithium battery value chain’ is becoming internationally recognised took some work, but a collaboration of like-minded private sector folk has consolidated this position within the Western Trade Coast. Discussions with the European Union in Canberra, here in WA, and abroad played a major role in consolidating this position for the State.
- KIC’s membership swelled to 14 Full Members, with two of the new members being Tianqi Lithium and Covalent Lithium (both being lithium hydroxide producers), Avertas Energy (Australia’s first energy from waste facility), and the movement from Associate membership by the Water Corporation and Fremantle Ports.
- The Westport process seems to be arriving at what industry views as the logical outcome for the location and configurational characteristics for the long-term future of import and export freight movements. It is a confirmation, but for the details around timing, that the very longterm port planning carried out over at least two decades was right.
- Interest in the industrial area from international capital and infrastructure investors intensified during the year, as did the interest shown by industrial companies looking to establish their business’ in the industrial area. The impact of these businesses coming to the area has created another strategic issue for the State’s Premier Industrial area – Landcorp is going to have to bring on a major new area for modern heavy industry to move into because Rockingham Industry Zone, whilst looking vacant, is strongly forwardcommitted to incoming industries already. The logical place for this to be located in is the western sector of Latitude 32.
- The battle to get the industrial buffer zone protected from residential property development still continues to frustrate industry. The Western Australian Planning Commission finally considered the KIC’s Metropolitan Scheme Amendment to create a Special Control Area over the Western Trade Coast.
- Industry is extremely frustrated and disappointed that the Application was refused.
- The reasons for the refusal were that the existing planning controls and mechanisms are adequate (which they plainly are not), and that “on the balance of opinion” the refusal was warranted.
- This view was formed despite the fact that seven government departments, trading enterprises, and a local government provided their conditional support for the Application proceeding to the fully public, transparent process industry was seeking. Two local governments were not in support, so clearly the “balance of opinion” should have been for the application to proceed.
- Industry is mystified by this decision, and has asked the WAPC to reconsider its decision.
- Domestic gas reservation hotted up as an issue on the East Coast, principally because they don’t have a reservation policy like WA does. The issue here is that the supply contracts being made available to potential industrial customers tend firstly to be much shorter than they have asked for, and need, and secondly to be available volumes substantially less than that being sought. Industry cannot make prudent business decisions in an environment of such uncertainty. This is likely to present itself as an issue in the coming year. Quite simply, the gas needs to be made available under the conditions set out in the WA Domestic Gas Reservation Policy.
What has become very clear in recent times is that very little in the way of progress toward resolving our key strategic issues is going to happen until the Westport recommendation is presented to the State government toward the end of 2019. The identification of a range of options focussing on Kwinana, and in particular the land-backed option, is a big step in that direction. I hope that the decision to move the port to Cockburn Sound is taken quickly so that work toward achieving resolution of our key strategic issues can happen sooner rather than later.
To things with a more positive feel, our Education Development Program (EDP) is continuing to expand, to deliver on its objectives and targets, and to impress with the quality of its outcomes. The EDP has consolidated to the extent where KIC members place a high value on its structure and outcomes. A significant aspect of its expansion during the latter part of the year was to create a whole new sup-program devoted to increasing the number of young women entering industry. There’s lots about this on the KIC website.
Finally, I’d like to thank the members for their support of KIC, our President Albert Romano for his leadership, and staff, Yvonne and Debbie, for their dedication.
Kwinana Industries Council operates with a formal structure consisting of the Board, the Executive, its Committees, and KIC staff.
The matters of the KIC are managed by the Board comprising a senior representative from each of the full member companies. The Board, chaired by KIC’s President, meets every two months.
In 2011, the KIC Board decided to restructure the KIC specialist committees. As a result, the Eco-Efficiency Committee was subsumed into the Environment and Planning Committee, and the Community Health Committee was taken over by the Public Affairs and Communications Advisory Group.
Select one of the links to learn more >>
Public Safety Group
Environment & Planning
Human Resources / Industrial Relations Forum
This Forum provides an opportunity for Members to network professionally in their respective fields of management and to learn through the sharing of experiences. Forums are held twice during the year and will continue in the future.
Major Hazard Facility Forums
Major Hazard Facility is a Regulator description of the industrial installation. It sits above the Daggerous Goods designation, and requires a very high level of industrial safety management and focus. The forum is primarily for KIC members with a MHF designation, but welcome to attend are any KIC members. Invited to these forums also, are MHFs from outside of the KIC membership. Around twice per year the KIC’s Public Safety Committee (KIPS) runs a forum for its members. The forums are used to provide updates about the many aspects of industrial public safety initiatives, regulatory changes, risk reduction technology advancements, and incident reporting. This is an important forum for two reasons. The first is that it provides an opportunity for industry safety professionals to meet to update themselves and to discuss implications of issues and changes. Secondly it is a terrific way for members to advance their professional knowledge through issue discussion and problem resolution. This is the professional development aspect of the forums.
Women’s Networking Forum
The Women’s Networking Forum continues to be held twice a year and is an informative and great networking system aimed primarily at women working in the KIA. Over the last 12 months we have welcomed men from industry to the Forums, and this has proven to be a positive move. We look forward to more men attending the Forums in the future.
KIC Representation on External Committees
KIC strives to liaise with key stakeholders through involvement in various committees as a key component of its formal relationship development plan. The Director, President, Vice-presidents, and committee chairpersons are all nominated in the plan to meet with key stakeholders on KIC’s behalf.
KIC has been represented on the following committees:
- Westport Reference Group
- Perth Air Quality Coordinating Committee
- Cockburn Sound Management Council
- Fremantle Ports Outer Harbour Community Liaison Group
- South Coast Business Development Organisation
- South West Economic Development Foundation
- Town of Kwinana Progress Kwinana Taskforce
- Keep Australia Working
- Western Trade Coast Industries Committee
- South West Reference Group
Many others have come and gone over the years.
KIC’s Full Members tend to be the major industrial companies operating in and near to the industrial core, or the old Kwinana Industrial Area.
At this level the member company is entitled to a seat at the KIC’s Board. This translates into the Full Member having a major voice in how KIC operates, what the key strategic issues for the industry cluster collectively are, and what KIC’s resources will be directed toward their resolution.
Air Liquide WA Pty Ltd
BMT Mercury Technology
Crushing Services International
EcoLab Pty Ltd
Kwinana Cogen/ Engie
Programmed Skilled Workforce Aust
Sims Metal Management
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