A FUNDING commitment from the State Government into road infrastructure in the West Arthur Shire has fuelled speculation about Bunge Australia's intentions to invest in up-country storage in the region.
It appears that Bunge Australia could be making moves to establish storage facilities in the region, after a property advertisement in last week's Farm Weekly mentioned that it was close to a proposed Bunge grain depot.
The line appeared in the advert for the Brookdale property, which is located at Arthur River.
Bunge Australia general manager Chris Aucote would not confirm or deny whether the company was considering investment in additional sites for up-country storage.
"We are focused here (Bunbury), we have finished building this facility and will determine what we need to do over time with regards to up-country investment," Mr Aucote said.
"We need to feed this facility and get the tonnage in.
"There is sufficient infrastructure if we can find a way to work with it, we may not need to invest but if we need to we will work through it."
Transport Minister Dean Nalder opened the 50,000 tonne Bunge export port facility in Bunbury last week, the trading giant's first investment in Australia, on behalf of the State Government.
Mr Nalder said the WA Government had committed $53 million to develop the Coalfields Highway and a further $20m in the Darkan/Arthur River region to improve overtaking lanes to facilitate truck movements to port.
"We see that as an important way of facilitating trade in WA and in the agricultural sector," Mr Nalder said.
"The State Government also has the responsibility, not only at port and the facilitation of trade, but the logistics of how the produce gets to the port."
He said the opening of the facility marked a historic day in WA's history and he was excited about the opportunity it represented for WA farmers.
"As Transport Minister I have the responsibility in the ports for the facilitation of trade," Mr Nalder said.
"So I am quite proud that the Government has provided the opportunity, particularly in the greater regional area of Bunbury, to facilitate that further trade particularly in the important industry of grains."