Prices down in the Pilbara
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.
Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell with a trolley load of goods.