Industry and Synergies
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 is the Western Trade Coast?
Key Strategic Issues
Opportunities / New Things Coming
Synergies (Industrial Symbiosis)
- What is it
- RDA Perth Lithium Report
- AMEC Report: A lithium industry in Australia
- AMEC Report: Australian Battery Minerals Investment Opportunities
- WA State Government Report: Future Battery Industry Strategy WA
- Federal Government Report: Lithium Ion Battery Value Chain
- Federal Government Prospectus: Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus
What is the Western Trade Coast?
The WTC is a major industrial area located along the south metropolitan coast and is only 30 minutes from Perth’s CBD. It is well-served by major transport links, including deep-water bulk port facilities, high-wide and dangerous goods freight routes, and heavy rail. Heavy road freight has easy access to the Kwinana Freeway and a high wide load corridor that links eastwards to the major freight networks leading to the north and south.
There are four primary industrial estates within the WTC, these being the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA), Rockingham Industry Zone (RIZ), The Australian Marine Complex (AMC), and Latitude 32.
The WTC is protected from residential land encroachment by a buffer zone and is accepted as being the State’s premier industrial area.
Situated around the edge of the WTC are the residential suburbs of Rockingham, Kwinana and Cockburn. Of the 30,000 direct and indirect workers that attribute their employment to the WTC, 2/3 live within 15kms of their workplaces..
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WTC Strategic Industrial Area (SIA)
SIAs are industrial land areas specifically set aside for companies wishing to invest in downstream processing and other heavy or strategic industrial activities.
The WTC SIA is Western Australia’s premier heavy industrial zone. It has large, connected land areas available, and is close to a skilled and productive workforce. Investment in the SIA places new entrants alongside some of the world’s largest resource companies and enables them to connect into the world-leading industrial symbiosis network.
The SIA hosts specialist centres for chemical and resource-based processing and marine engineering and ship-building. The SIA has been developed to ensure strategically important industry has access to serviced, well-buffered and appropriately zoned land within the Perth metropolitan area.
The SIA is some 6,000ha in area, with 1/3rd developed.
Land sales and leasing is managed through the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science, and Innovation (JTSI), and DevelopmentWA.
“The future of the WTC as an integrated industrial community is bright, and it can accommodate investment from incoming industries for years to come.”
Each of the industrial suburbs making up the WTC are quite different with some being very specialised. There are four primary areas.
The Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA)
This is the oldest part of the WTC, and was often referred to as “The Strip”. This area represents the old Kwinana Industrial Area, or heavy industry core. Its first entrant was the BP Kwinana oil refinery in 1955. It has been the home of the traditional heavy industries, including petroleum and minerals refineries, power stations, chemical plants, cement works and a range of supporting industries. It is a busy industrial deep-water bulk port and is approaching land availability capacity.
Extending from the south extremity of the KIA to its northern extremity, some 8kms, is a belt of secondary industries. These service the fabrication, construction, engineering and maintenance requirements of their heavy industry neighbours, and because land availability is approaching capacity, KIC is pressing for new heavy industrial land parcels to be developed and added to the industrial core.
Rockingham Industry Zone (RIZ)
On the fringes of the heavy industrial core is the RIZ. This is a newly developing heavy and light industrial area designed as an overflow to the KIA and for a belt of light industry through to commercial development as it gets closer to residential development. It provides space for many transport, storage and laydown areas as well as new industrial land for supporting and heavy industry.
Australian Marine Complex (AMC)
In the northern part of the WTC is the AMC, which is a specialist area for shipbuilding, marine engineering, manufacturing, fabrication, defence services, technology and general engineering.
The area alongside the wharves also serves as a marshalling area for mining resource, oil & gas, marine, logistics and defence projects.
To the east, the Latitude 32 Industry Zone.
This very large (1,400+ ha) area is still largely undeveloped for industry, although a general industry precinct (Flinders) is becoming built out. The area is awaiting its planning direction which will come once the locational decision for the new port in Kwinana is made by the State government in Q1 2020.
Covering 1,400ha, when fully developed this major industrial development zone will be amongst the largest in Australia and will be constructed to meet short, medium and long-term demand for industrial land in Perth.
Industry sees Latitude 32 as the area into which the heavy industrial core can expand in to. Once the decision on the port is made, it is expected there will be substantial pressure to zone the western profile of Latitude 32 for this purpose, with the remainder set aside for the logistics industries supporting the new port in Kwinana.
“In order for the benefits of industry to be retained, the businesses concerned must have a sustainable future. Such a future must allow for new investment to continue in the KIA so that businesses can grow. At the same time, industry has a responsibility to the community to conserve the environment for current and future generations of Western Australians.”
Designated Strategic Industrial Area
The State has designated several important industrial areas throughout WA as SIAs. The application of this designation means that a certain set of rules and protections apply to each. These include what industry types are permitted to establish in that particular area. This maintains the strategic significance of the area for the State. The WTC is the State’s premier industrial area. It is the primary general and heavy industrial location in the Perth Metropolitan Area. SIAs are administered from within the Department for JTSI.
The Kwinana SIA is strategically important to the State, hosting specialist chemical and resource-based processing installations, and bulk materials import and export operations. The SIA is serviced by heavy freight road and rail networks.
When an industrial area is identified by SIA status it is then afforded protection under either of two high level Statutory Planning tools. The one offering the strongest protection is called a Special Control Area, and the one coming in at a reasonably close second is an Improvement Plan for the area. Most SIAs are protected by either one of these tools.
“The Kwinana SIA is strategically important to the State, hosting specialist chemical and resource-based processing installations, and bulk materials import and export operations.”
The Benefits of Clusters
An ‘industrial cluster’ occurs where similarly categorised companies are located in close proximity, and the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA) is an excellent example of one such cluster.
The basic principle underpinning clusters is this: Companies in clusters are more competitive than similar companies located outside of clusters.
The improved competitiveness comes from being co-located with other businesses, so there is a
- higher likelihood of an efficient, integrated freight transport system servicing the area
- larger number of specialised, skilled and experienced workers who will move within the cluster
- shorter distance from process input supplies, possibly even able to be piped, to user
- higher likelihood that by-products will be able to be used as an input into by nearby industry processes, increasing the re-use and recycling of materials
- increased interest from the secondary (supporting engineering and fabrication) industry sector to locate near the heavy industry cluster thus further reducing the costs for all parties
- an attraction to move to the cluster to take advantage of the synergies, and to add to them
- greater economic impact which can induce greater governmental attention
- greater interest in investment which adds to all of the above.
- Economic competitiveness is the bottom
The KIA is a world class example of the benefits of industrial-scale clustering. It is literally the world’s best practice example of industrial symbiosis at work, with well over 150 product, by-product and utility exchanges occurring on commercial terms.
Clusters can be facilitated buy governments through the provision of the basic infrastructure such as appropriately zoned and buffered land, efficient and scalable transport and pipeline corridors, utility provision designed to accommodate growth, etc. Governments can also ensure that their governance over the cluster is of high quality.
- development planning processes are efficient and as sensible as possible
- regulation of industry is sensible, consistent and transparent
- decisions are made promptly
- cluster buffer zones are well protected from the encroachment pressures of influential residential property developers
- long-term strategic planning ensures the integrity of the cluster for the long term.
It is over to the industries themselves to make the cluster develop into one that improves individual company competitiveness. Improvement opportunities are negotiated on commercial terms between participating companies, and governments do not have a role to play here. They are made in the context of governance certainty that the cluster will be in existence into the long term.