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.
Tour the Western Trade Coast
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 nine years, and as President I am pleased to provide this summary on behalf of the KIC Board.
Welcome to the 2021 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.
It cannot be overstated that the pandemic has resulted in dramatic changes in the global economy. The unprecedent economic impact of Covid19 has seen a significant downturn in consumer confidence within all sectors relating to KIC member industries. Deflationary pressure has resulted in reduced volume and income for some businesses which has had the inevitable result for businesses of placing greater focus on controlling costs. At the same time the export facing WA mining sector has also seen an uplift in sales with Australian supply being favoured ahead of other jurisdictions impacted by Covid. Australian supply has been recognised as a secure source of supply by customers seeking to manage sensitive supply chains due the pandemic, and this has had a positive buffering impact on some of the Kwinana based businesses which support the WA mining sector.
Against a backdrop of consecutive years of relatively low Australian CPI growth, fortunately for some time all businesses have been working extremely hard to ensure they remain competitive, optimise costs and improve their overall productivity. Prior to the pandemic, commodity prices were generally holding steady, however during more recently commodity prices have become especially fickle and have in some instances declined significantly. While local industrial export facing businesses selling in US dollars have enjoyed some currency exchange relief, the large reduction in demand and headwinds from lower commodity pricing have resulted in unfavourable net outcomes overall.
Over my years working in industry, I have seen many changes in economic conditions and have always been inspired by the determination of Kwinana industry to innovate, adapt and remain relevant. Regrettably, 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. These synergies offer considerable competitive advantage to industries that have established themselves together, and these advantages are of critical importance during uncertain times and when overcapacity exists in the global economy.
Despite the turbulence of economic cycles, over the longer term the Kwinana industrial area has remained successful because firstly, existing businesses have been nimble to seize opportunities 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.
The Kwinana industrial area delivers on various fundamental needs (and addresses key supply risks) that exist within our modern society. Western Australia is lucky to have a vibrant industrial area in Kwinana with its extensive range of viable capabilities that can competitively produce essential inputs needed. Suring up this supply is important to our society for several reasons.
“…the Kwinana industrial area has remained successful because firstly, existing businesses have been nimble to seize opportunities and secondly, they have highly determined, talented and committed employees.”
Mr Albert Romano
Kwinana Industries Council President
1. The KIA provides a means of essential connectivity and continuity across important sectors of our WA economy, broader society, and its regions. Most people don’t realise just how reliant our daily lives are on Kwinana’s industry and exactly how connected with regional WA. I’m referring to Kwinana industry being responsible for producing and handling many of the key inputs required by society such as; refined essential materials used in construction, refined materials used for renewable energies and battery manufacturing and high technology light weight alloys, critical chemicals used in drinking water and water treatment purification, sanitation chemicals and specialised gases for hospitals and laboratories, chemicals and fertilisers for agriculture and food production, fuels and gas used for all forms of air road and rail transport, mining chemicals and explosives essential to scale and productivity, gases used in domestic and commercial heating, refrigerants for cooling, pigments used in paints, etc…
These inputs are extensive and are continuously being used in our daily lives directly or indirectly, without many of us giving much of thought as to where the inputs are coming from. Many modern-day aspects of our lives are fully reliant on these inputs, and in essence, these inputs are fundamental enablers to having a functioning society. This important reliance is precisely why the inputs are used throughout the WA economy, as well as exported out through Kwinana to others.
2. Kwinana is a major employer of not only skilled workers, apprentices, and trainees, and it is also responsible for around $16 billion of the State’s economic activity. Many lives, livelihoods, families, businesses, and communities are connected to and highly reliant on these activities occurring.
3. The KIA provides locational strength. Nestled on the coast within the Perth metropolitan area, being protected by an industrial buffer zone, and with the enhanced port infrastructure promised by the McGowan government due to the relocation of the freight task from Fremantle, the Kwinana Industrial Area is set to expand, which means more employment opportunities will abound and our economy further strengthened. This locational aspect is of immense importance because the co-location of industries offers the participants in the area collectively key synergies where they and able to efficiently share inputs as well as utilise each other’s outputs. This sharing of materials, products, services, and infrastructure delivers significant competitive advantages. The co-location of industry fosters efficiency and unique trade reliance. This is occurring continuously within which are in turn supported through associated transport workers and businesses and service industries
The Kwinana Industrial Area continues to act as an important enabler needed to support our broader Western Australian society. For it to remain effective, it needs to be appropriately protected through effective State land-use planning, remain connected by important unrestricted well set out efficient road and rail freight links which can grow, and in turn this allow important materials to flow to where they are critically needed by consumers in society. Ensuring there is space for the elements of this overall system to expand in a healthy and manageable way over time is essential to the long-term success of our communities and daily lives. Similarly ensuring issues impacting the activities within this system are responded to in early and proactive preventative manner allows the system to continue to function in a reliable and self-sustainable manner.
Whether it is electricity to power our homes and businesses, the production of battery precursor material for use in electric vehicles, the generation of energy from alternate fuel sources supporting customer transition to a low carbon economy, the production of efficient clean fuels for specialty transport applications, the production of fertilisers to allow the state to grow crops and other foods we eat, supply of chemicals to sanitise the water we drink or products to construct buildings, Kwinana based industries continue to be fundamentally critical in ensuring our modern society functions well.
While some may view having a vibrant manufacturing industrial footprint as undesirable, recent world events have highlighted serious exposures which remind us of the critical importance of having local manufacturing and supply capabilities. For various reasons cited, the reality is that our modern society is highly reliant on the existence of efficient industries. As has already been demonstrated there is a strong desire and need for industry to continue to improve its efficiencies, reduce emissions and continue to remain relevant to consumers. It will be the knowhow and determination of the people connected with industrial businesses that will continue to reinvent the nature of industry and ensure it meets all customer demands while also finding innovative solutions to issues that meet the broader expectations and needs of society and its various stakeholders.
Our ongoing strategy to have a certainty of supply to our customers and the broader society, leads us to maintain the buffer and secure protection from incompatible development around the industrial area remains a key focus for the KIC. For this reason, KIC continues to advocate for the responsible management of the industrial area and protection from the encroachment of non-industrial development incompatible sensitive land uses within its surrounding buffer zone. KIC believes the management of the State’s premier manufacturing area requires greater certainty of land use as well as area defined and
allocated for industrial and non-industrial development. This includes systematic tools and structures that support responsible compatible future industrial developments, as well as mechanisms that prevent and protect against the risk of incompatible developments arising. The value the Kwinana industrial area delivers cannot be underestimated, and protecting the industrial buffer is essential. KIC is determined and continues to shine a light on this important issue and welcomes positive outcomes with the State Government and its related departments and agencies.
Another ingredient underpinning the success of the Kwinana industrial area 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. In the past year KIC has completed several new initiatives, and this year two great examples of projects completed that represent a common collegiate interest are KIC’s ‘Carbon Reduction’ and ‘Women in Industry’ projects, which have both had important outcomes achieved this year and are discussed further in this report.
Reflecting on the various initiatives and projects under development, I always feel proud of the role KIC’s has played supporting these developments and how collaborative efforts can translate an investment concept into new local jobs and economic activity.
KIC’s 2021 Annual Report will provide readers with further detail of some activities undertaken by KIC member industries over the past year. To that end, 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.
The Western Trade Coast is the State’s premier industrial area, responsible for pumping around $15Bn into the State economy each year, and employing around 30,000 workers directly and indirectly.
There is land suitable for heavy and general industrial development within the buffer to easily double these figures.
We are witnessing the resurgence of the Kwinana Industrial Area, with all of the interest associated with Lithium Valley and Westport; the new port for Kwinana.
This is going to translate into jobs for our kids and for our communities, and long term economic growth for our State. Are we ready for that?
An important milestone during the year was the re-elected McGowan government’s reinforced-commitment to building the new freight port in Kwinana.
This heralds an exciting new era in the development of the Western Trade Coast (WTC), and in particular the Kwinana Industrial Area.
It is timely that the commitment to building the new port has been re-stated not only because an enormous amount of new industry is heralded as heading our way, but also because some of industry’s key constraints are set to be resolved by the planning associated with the port development. Here are some of these.
The new port is already generating national and international interest as a destination to establish new heavy industries. The WTC is essentially out of large heavy industrial lots, from Rockingham to Henderson. We can say this is a great problem, sure, but a problem it is. Latitude 32 (the old Wattleup town site and associated rural land) remains the only logical place into which the heavy industrial core can expand its footprint. The buffer zone is the widest there, it can be well serviced by freight road and rail, and it is close to the new port. It is well and truly time for the Department of JTSI to get into gear and have the land zoned for this purpose.
The existing freight rail system is running at capacity, has been for some years now. It presents a constraint on industry, which means road traffic volumes increase to compensate. The new port will fix this through rail upgrading projects.
Existing port jetties are also operating at capacity, which means additional or new trade is not able to be accommodated in the Kwinana berths. The emphasis on efficiency and capacity improvement the new port infrastructure will bring should also see the two common user jetties de-constrained through reconfiguration and upgrading.
Pipeline corridors contain the arteries that connect many of the heavy industries that exchange products, by-products, and utilities. They are complex and difficult to access. The new port provides an opportunity to better formalise, improve access, and simplify corridor access because by definition, the new industries attracted to the industrial area will need pipeline corridor access
Environmental monitoring needs to be well-directed, accurate, consistent and sensible. The new port will trigger a requirement for better real time monitoring of Cockburn Sound. This is a better outcome for the whole environment and for the communities surrounding the WTC that all
environmental monitoring is reviewed and made contemporary. The regulatory requirement for some certain monitoring is not only pointless, it is quite simply a complete waste of money – money that would be better re-directed into sensible monitoring regimes.
The new port will bring new export opportunities. We are already seeing this with the emergence of the Lithium Valley industries that are arriving. We are also seeing new opportunities in the renewable energies sector, where not only can zero carbon water, electricity, and hydrogen be incorporated into existing commodity production, it can also be used to assist exporters to demonstrate the required carbon reduction or neutrality to the buyers of their products.
Efficient Freight Routes
The new port will crystallise the requirement for an efficient road freight route to carry goods from the dock to Kewdale and other intermodal locations. For the record, an efficient freight route is one that has no traffic lights or roundabouts, and doesn’t pass through residential areas because of the dangerous goods it carries.
Rowley Road was planned to be that route, complete with a rail corridor, but somehow the state’s land use planners and transport planners weren’t talking to each other, and the proposed route got built out by residential development. How that could happen beggars belief.
Anketell Road is the next best opportunity, and even that has been compromised by approved residential and commercial development.
For the sake of the new port, an east west freight route to Tonkin Highway is essential, and its construction is already justified.
Proper Government Planning
Finally, and very importantly, the new port must surely bring heightened focus by government planning decision makers on the need to preserve industry’s buffer zones. For close to two decades, residential property developers seem to have grown their influences on our statutory planning processes.
It is completely pointless to invest in a new port in Kwinana if the buffer zone is able to be eroded by property developers seeking to squeeze affordable housing on tiny blocks into areas set aside decades ago to provide buffer zones that encourage heavy industry to set up, grow, and operate well into the future.
Industry’s buffer zones need to be strengthened from their ‘malleable’ state to a ‘no-go zone’ for property developers. Government departments with a role in promoting the longevity of the WTC Strategic Industrial Area quite frankly need to step up and assert their responsibilities to the State.
The future of the WTC is bright despite the constraints under which it continues to successfully operate. It could actually be a lot better though:
· common user infrastructure could be more efficient;
· concierge work (assisting new entrant industries to get their approvals) of various government departments has much room for improvement; and
· the State’s governance of the WTC could be significantly improved.
Fixing these constraints helps enable industries located within the WTC to be more internationally competitive. In being more competitive industries can grow and develop, and this translates into more local jobs and economic contribution to the wealth of the State.
Prior to the recent State election, KIC wrote a White Paper (Western Trade Coast Governance) describing all of these points along with their solutions.
The paper was provided to various political parties in the lead up to the election and discussed with those who wished to engage. We remain hopeful that the State’s Premier Industrial Area can benefit from the recommendations industry made, but doing so will mean the creation of a new Government governance environment for the WTC.
One could anticipate a fair bit of government resistance to this idea. To them I say the State’s interest is more important than any departmental interests. It is the creation of thousands of jobs and the economic prosperity that goes hand in hand, that is far more important.
To knowingly leave the WTC to continue operating under the constraints described above is a manifestation of suboptimal and questionable governance. Many of these constraints could have, and should have, been fixed years ago, but they have not.
Looking optimistically into the future, I continue to see new interest in the industrial area from potential new-entrant companies. These are predominantly from the Lithium industry value chain and the renewable and associated energy sectors. There is much going on to get excited about, with many yet to break through as approved projects.
In concluding, I’d like to thank the KIC members for their support of KIC; our President, Mr Albert Romano for his leadership, and to my staff, Yvonne and Debbie, for their dedication. I’m proud to be associated with them all.
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
- BOC Ltd
- Crushing Services International
- DBP (WA)
- EcoLab Pty Ltd
- Freo Group
- Good Water Energy
- Kwinana Cogen/ Engie
- Lanskey Constructions
- NewGen Power
- Nufarm Australia
- Perth Energy
- Programmed Skilled Workforce Aust
- Qube Logistics (WA)
- RC Construction WA
- Sims Metal Management
- Site Sentry
- Solenis Aust
- Summit Fertilizers
- Taylors Engineering
- Tutt Bryant Group Limited
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