Tumby Bay District Council and community members will be able to provide strong influence on whether two deep-sea, multi-commodity ports will be built in the area.
Tim Scholz from Iron Road gave a presentation to councillors on Tuesday to showcase the potential for the port at Cape Hardy.
Iron Road is applying for a variation approval in order to use the port for grain export as well.
While the council has never officially backed the project, the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association, of which Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer is president, did however support the build of the Cape Hardy port.
Current approvals for the port at Cape Hardy are for the exportation of minerals such as iron ore, however Iron Road has since adopted a ‘grain first’ export strategy.
Iron Road will now need to wait nine to 12 months before the state government can give approval on the variation.
“We want to be long term players,” he said.
However, the proposal for another deep-sea port at Sheep’s Hill, also known as Port Spencer, could present strong competition to the port at Cape Hardy.
Mr Scholz said the Port Spencer proposal had been shortlisted by the federal government for further consideration.
“The reality is that proposal is one that the government favours,” he said.
“The council has the most powerful position it’s ever been in.”
Tumby Bay District Council mayor Sam Telfer said the council had worked closely with Iron Road to ensure the community always had representation to the company.
“There will be great opportunities for our community, region, and state with the development of a multi-commodity deep water port on Eyre Peninsula,” he said.
“The Cape Hardy project is the one which delivers that outcome.
“There needs to be a full understanding of all potential projects and their different characteristics for the best decisions to be made,” he said.
Mr Telfer said he planned to get a representative from the Port Spencer project to also speak to local councillors.
The two proposed ports are within 10 kilometres of one another along the Eastern coast of the Eyre Peninsula, between Tumby Bay and Port Neill.
Mr Scholz pitched to the council for support, saying the council and community were in a position to decide if a second port should be built.
“Subject to our partners of course, I think (Cape Hardy) certainly will be built,” he said.
“It is the contention for the community to decide,” he said.