Mid West Ports Authority will increase pen fees at the Fishing Boat Harbour (FBH) in Geraldton, Western Australia, to achieve a commercial break even position and align with charges at Batavia Coast Marina.

The increase in pen fees will be effective from 1 January 2018 and will be based on pen length as opposed to the current method of vessel length.

Mid West Ports will be phasing the market rate charges over the next three years.

Mid West Ports Authority, Chief Executive Officer, Peter Klein, said the Mid West Ports board will ensure port charges are more closely aligned with user pays principles, that the Geraldton Fishing Boat Harbour is accounted for separately, and that a break-even target is reached.

“During 2017, we have focused on planning initiatives to create and sustain a high performing organisation,” Mr Klein said.

“The finalisation and embedding of identified initiatives is continuing, but in the meantime the Fishing Boat Harbour pen fee increase is an important step in securing the long-term sustainability of our organisation.”

FBH pen fees will progressively rise from $303/m of vessel length/annum to $544/m of pen length/annum.

Historically Mid West Ports has run its FBH at a loss and this loss has been cross subsidised by revenue generated by the main shipping harbour.  

The Fishing Boat Harbour includes pens, walkways, jetties, wharfs, lease sites, roads and carparks, and aims to operate on a cost recovery basis.

A significant package of works is scheduled to be undertaken on FBH assets over the coming years.

This work includes the 2016/17 project to upgrade Connell Road and adjacent carpark ($1.31 million), the demolition and construction of new pens at South Pens 2 ($1.7 million) and completed upgrades to the walkways in south pens.

Works to be undertaken between 2018 and 2021 include upgrades to the main wharf, short service jetty, north pens and walkways, demolition of fisheries pens, upgrades to FBH toilets, and refurbishment of rock walls.

These planned projects are estimated to cost an additional $5.21 million.

The current services to the FBH users will continue, including the provision of mooring pens, water, electricity, waste oil and rubbish collection, car parking, surveillance and security patrols.

The Fishing Boat Harbour is situated to the west of the commercial shipping harbour.  

At present, there are approximately 156 pens which generally accommodate boats from 8-23m. 

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