Before & after.
By ERWIN CHLANDA
When it comes to thinking big on the subject of nation building the Project Iron Boomerang (PIB) takes a lot of beating.
It’s the brainchild of a group including Roger Steele, a minister in the Everingham government, whose nickname curiously is Stainless.
The project is all about steel, namely 44 million tonnes per year, a good slice of the world’s 1600 million tpy, half of which is currently produced by China.
This the idea: Queensland has the coal and WA has the iron one. Why not have a rail line on which coal travels west and iron ore east and have five steel mills at each end.
The pitch provided by PIB puts the capital expenditure at $55 billion and the jobs number at 75,000.
Central Australia’s slice of the action would be providing maintenance and administration jobs for the railway which would cross through the NT near TiTree, not far to the north of Alice.
Turning Oz from a quarry to a manufacturing hub makes a lot of sense especially given that 40% of the ore currently shipped overseas is dirt.
Pie in the sky? PIB says it has 20 “outstanding key partners” including TATA, KPMG, Credit Suisse, ANZ, Hyudai Steel and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.
Says Mr Steele: “What a difference this would make to our NT budget, two to three billion dollars to our treasury and nearly 2000 new NT jobs, plus Aboriginal involvement, education and training.
“We need support to get the Feds interested.”