Town of Port Hedland announce key priorities to achieve ‘City’ vision ahead of election

Town of Port Hedland CEO Mal Osborne

Town of Port Hedland CEO Mal Osborne

Often described as the “engine room of the Australian economy,” the Pilbara is experiencing significant and rapid growth and development, primarily as a result of the resources industry expansion. 

The Town of Port Hedland in particular is punching well above its weight in terms of its contribution to the Western Australian and national economies, while delivering high quality facilities and services to the community.

While this period of rapid expansion and development has brought many positive changes to the region, it also carries the challenge of balancing economic and commercial development with the needs of the local community.

We acknowledge that much work has been accomplished and some truly impressive results achieved, and we are grateful to the current State Government and the Pilbara Cities Office for ongoing support of development in our region.

We also acknowledge and thank our key stakeholders for their assistance in delivering key infrastructure in Port Hedland. 

That being said, we realise that there is much work to be done, and much ground to be covered on our journey to achieving our “Pilbara’s Port City” vision.

To help keep us on track on that journey and to stay focussed on the future, The Town of Port Hedland has identified seven immediate key priorities which are essential to achieving the “Pilbara’s Port City” vision.

This vision is aimed at diversifying and strengthening the economic base and attracting and retaining business and investment while building a strong and healthy community that offers long-term opportunities and city-style lifestyle options for our current and future local residents.

1. Affordable retail/commercial spaces

A “Big Barn” concept facility and business incubator facility are proposed.

Funding and land are critically needed to deliver projects that will create new, active and vibrant commercial precincts and provide affordable residential communities.

WA Government commitment sought: Transfer of Lot 309 Throsell Road South Hedland and a portion of Reserve 8214 McGregor Street, Port Hedland to the Town of Port Hedland, ex gratia.

Provide up to $10 million as “start-up” funding towards the capital costs of building infrastructure.

 2. Residential land and housing availability, including key worker housing for Town of Port Hedland staff

Lack of suitable accommodation is causing the Town of Port Hedland to lose valuable and experienced staff at an unacceptable rate, negatively impacting on the organisation’s ability to deliver and maintain key infrastructure to city standards.

Currently, Town of Port Hedland staff have had limited success in accessing key service worker accommodation.

WA Government commitment sought: Provide Town of Port Hedland staff priority access to key service worker accommodation.

 3. Port Hedland International Airport upgrade

The Town of Port Hedland will apply for federal funding for the development of the proposed freight hub component through the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) and will apply to the Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) for 50% of the approximate $1.1 million needed for fencing upgrades.

The estimated $4.5 million cost of upgrading the airport water supply is outside of the Town of Port Hedland budget.

WA Government commitment sought: $4.5 million for water supply upgrade, financial support through RADS grant application and endorsement of future RDAF application.

 4. South Hedland integrated community facilities (Library, Lotteries House and Well Women’s Centre)

This project will centralise the major community facilities in South Hedland and reshape the South Hedland Town Centre.

The total value of this project is approximately $40 million.

WA Government commitment sought: 50% of project value, up to $20 million.

 5. Economic diversification/tourism

Spoilbank Marina Precinct

Estimated total project costs are $250 million, and funding commitments are in place.

The Town of Port Hedland has committed $40 million to development.

WA Government commitment sought: The Town of Port Hedland is seeking clarification and assurances that the community components required will be delivered as part of the project to ensure that the precinct will include key recreation, leisure and cultural components for the local community.

Viewing platform/tower (Marrapikurrinya Tower)

This project will integrate the town and the port, while bringing together tourism and industrial activities.

Total project costs are approximately $22.5 million.

WA Government commitment sought: $11 million.

Coastal Access Strategy and managed camping

This project will improve access to selected coastal areas and provide the infrastructure needed to accommodate and manage visitors to these sites.

Total project cost is approximately $8 million.

WA Government commitment sought: 50% of project value, up to $4 million.

 6. Boodarie Strategic Industrial Area

This development will help address the conflicting land use issues in the Wedgefield general industrial area by relocating some existing industries to a new noxious industry site.

WA Government commitment sought: Minimum of $16 million for basic site development and road construction.

Note that this does not include services such as water and power, which will require a significant additional investment.

 7. Government services

All Government services including, but not limited to, education, health, police and Department of Child Protection should have all positions filled with agencies providing the level of service required by the community.

WA Government commitment sought: Provision of high level of services by all Government agencies to ensure that our community is safe, healthy and sustainable.

 8. Local Government involvement in State agreements process

A more inclusive approach is needed for better understanding of development impacts, improved processes and results, greater community engagement and enhanced local outcomes.

WA Government commitment sought: Direct Local Government involvement at the beginning of any negotiations of State Agreements that impact on that community.

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