Prices down in the Pil­bara

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Peter de Krui­jff

The cost of goods and ser­vices, when com­pared to Perth, is down in the Pil­bara, but in the Kim­ber­ley and Gas­coyne the cost dif­fer­en­tial has got­ten big­ger.

How­ever, the bi­en­nial Re­gional Price In­dex com­piled by the State Gov­ern­ment still has the Pil­bara rated the high­est in cost com­pared to Perth fol­lowed by the other two North West re­gions.

To make the com­par­i­son, 637 goods and ser­vices are checked for price in 28 cen­tres across WA.

Drops in the price in­dex were seen in most ma­jor North West cen­tres.

Kar­ratha went from a 118.8 rat­ing in 2013 to 118, Port Hed­land dropped from 121.8 to 117.2, Broome 116 to 114, and Wyn­d­ham-Ku­nunurra 115.4 to 113.4.

There were steeper rises in Halls Creek, New­man, and Ex­mouth.

Food got more ex­pen­sive across the board in WA, but the Pil­bara copped some of the worst of it.

In 2013, the re­gion was rated 101.5, so a 1.5 dif­fer­ence from Perth, but this has gone up to 117.6. Cig­a­rettes, tobacco, and al­co­hol are down across the State, as is health­care.

Na­tion­als WA Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Jac­qui Boy­dell said the RPI gave gov­ern­ment a good gra­di­ent in terms of re­gional costs com­pared to met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas.

“It’s a good key per­for­mance indi­ca­tor for if we are get­ting our pa­ram­e­ters right,” she said. “In some ar­eas it’s a bit a more af­ford­able … in other ar­eas there is still a bit of work to do.”

“Apart from the cost of liv­ing, there are other ben­e­fits with liv­ing in the Pil­bara … all those re­lax­ing fam­ily ori­en­tated things you get to do.”

Ms Boy­dell said med­i­cal ser­vices were look­ing bet­ter in the North West be­cause of gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment into hos­pi­tals and health de­liv­ery.

She also had an opin­ion on why the cloth­ing price in­dex had risen so dra­mat­i­cally in the Gas­coyne.

She said the clos­ing of a Tar­get Coun­try last year had af­fected the Carnar­von and Ex­mouth mar­kets.

“Lo­cal re­tail­ers do a good job, but not in the quan­ti­ties a ma­jor brand like Tar­get could do,” she said.

Pic­ture: Re­becca Parish

Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Jac­qui Boy­dell with a trol­ley load of goods.

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