Look back on 2015

Pilbara News - - Opinion -

Jan­uary

Jan­uary 7

■ A deal was done for a so­lar plant to be built at the Kar­ratha Air­port worth $2.3 mil­lion.

■ Mem­ber for the Pil­bara Bren­don Grylls opened up af­ter a month on the back bench and said he felt re­freshed and would con­sider his fu­ture in State or Fed­eral pol­i­tics.

■ A 4.2m pub­lic sculp­ture is un­veiled in Parabur­doo, en­ti­tled Re­silience.

■ Cyanide is found in fruit at Roy Hill mine site.

Jan­uary 14

■ Chilly bin man emerges.

■ About 42 per cent of Pil­bara driv­ers tested for metham­phetamines and cannabis came back pos­i­tive.

■ Yamitji Marpla Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion cel­e­brates 20 years of stand­ing up for land rights.

Jan­uary 21

■ Po­lice crack down on drugs at mine sites with a se­ries of FIFO op­er­a­tions — most of­fences were mi­nor.

A coro­nial in­quest is re­opened into the death of Kar­ratha woman Tracey Mar­garet Mar­shall af­ter skele­tal re­mains were found 47km south of Kar­ratha.

The in­quest later found she had com­mit­ted sui­cide.

Jan­uary 28

■ Kar­ratha char­i­ties are bom­barded with rub­bish in their do­na­tion bins af­ter Christ­mas. ■ The Pil­bara In­sti­tute lost 22 staff as part of 1500 pub­lic sec­tor vol­un­tary re­dun­dan­cies in WA.

■ Forty peo­ple be­came Aus­tralian cit­i­zens in Kar­ratha.

■ Donna Stace won the City of Kar­ratha’s Ci­ti­zen of the Year award.

Fe­bru­ary

Fe­bru­ary 4

■ The WA Au­di­tor-Gen­eral de­cided to in­ves­ti­gate the Pil­bara Un­der­ground Power Pro­ject. Their find­ings re­vealed if the State had known the true cost of the pro­ject, it might not have been funded.

■ While petrol prices dropped in the rest of the State, high prices in the Pil­bara com­pared to the Kim­ber­ley en­raged road users.

Fe­bru­ary 11

■ Roe­bourne po­lice cracked down on rid­ing quad bikes il­le­gally on foot­paths and with­out safety equip­ment.

■ Some­one paints a 44-gal­lon drum like an Emu Ex­port can and puts it on the Dampier Salt Flats.

Fe­bru­ary 18

■ WA Min­is­ter for Education Peter Col­lier slammed a $46.5 mil­lion Fed­eral Govern­ment scheme rolled out in the Pil­bara to tar­get tru­ancy in Roe­bourne and Onslow one year af­ter it was set up.

■ The Pil­bara re­gion had a new Po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent in Jo McCabe, the first fe­male to take on the role.

■ Fire­fight­ers from across the North West are flown to the south of Perth to bat­tle fires.

Fe­bru­ary 25

■ The Pil­bara’s only mag­is­trate says he is over­loaded with work, with 5996 civil and crim­i­nal cases lodged in 2014.

The prob­lem would be rec­ti­fied mid-year, with a Gold­fields mag­is­trate to fly to Kar­ratha three weeks a month.

■ Pil­bara MP Bren­don Grylls blasted FIFO prac­tices in North West towns and called for a re­view of State Agree­ments.

March

March 4

■ The $13 mil­lion GP Su­per Clinic is started in Kar­ratha with doors ex­pected to open early in 2016.

■ The first sod is turned at the Damper Com­mu­nity Hub pro­ject.

■ A hitch-hik­ing cane toad is found at Roy Hill mine site.

March 11

■ Chevron was given the green light to add a fourth pro­cess­ing train for its Gor­gon LNG pro­ject.

■ The in­land Pil­bara was trans­formed by heavy rains.

Parabur­doo and Tom Price copped 194.6mm in one week.

March 18

■ A mys­tery ill­ness af­flicts the Pil­bara’s corel­las af­ter the big rains.

■ Bal­loons are re­leased at Mairee Pool in

mem­ory of Kar­ratha man Matt Dob­son. ■ Cy­clone Ol­wyn misses parts of the Pil­bara but strikes in Ex­mouth and wipes out crops in Carnar­von.

March 25

■ Re­dun­dan­cies at Rio Tinto hit hard with more than 200 jobs axed from the Pil­bara’s coastal op­er­a­tions. Wood­side Pe­tro­leum staff were also told there would be 300 re­dun­dan­cies.

■ Pil­bara com­mu­ni­ties ral­lied against State Govern­ment plans to end ser­vices to re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

April

April 1

■ Bul­garra res­i­dents were teed off at golfers us­ing foot­paths and roads to drive un­li­censed bug­gies to the Kar­ratha Coun­try Club.

■ Premier Colin Bar­nett tells Onslow to “get over” the State and Chevron pulling out of lo­cat­ing an op­er­a­tional FIFO work­force in the town.

April 8

■ Pil­bara truck­ing ad­vo­cate Heather Jones was pre­sented an award for an Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tions to Aus­tralian Truck­ing.

■ The Men of the Red Earth per­form a new show called Pen­du­lum in the ghost town of Cos­sack.

■ The Fed­eral Govern­ment starts a probe into the high cost of north­ern cy­clone in­sur­ance.

April 15

■ De­tails of a prison jail­break dur­ing Cy­clone Chris­tine in 2013 are fi­nally re­vealed by the Of­fice of the In­spec­tor of Cus­to­dial Ser­vices.

Two pris­on­ers de­cided to make a run for it when the power conked out at the prison. They were re­cap­tured the next day.

■ The State Govern­ment knocks back a re­quest by Wood­side to re­new the lease at its Gap Ridge fa­cil­ity in Kar­ratha.

April 22

■ Medi­care Lo­cals close across the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley.

■ The Whim Creek Ho­tel re­opens four years af­ter clos­ing.

■ The Lock­yer brothers, who fought in the two world wars, were also re­mem­bered at an early An­zac Day ser­vice at Whim Creek.

April 29

■ A re­port re­veals $53.6 mil­lion was spent in the 2013-14 fi­nan­cial

year on 206 ser­vices and projects in Roe­bourne de­liv­ered by 60 groups.

■ Kar­ratha had a cold snap not get­ting over 19.4C, while Mar­ble Bar dropped to 16.3C.

May

May 6

■ Brook­field Mul­ti­plex is cho­sen to build the $207 mil­lion Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus.

■ Sup­posed bil­lion-year-old fos­sils in the Pil­bara were found to be min­eral de­posits.

■ Premier Colin Bar­nett scoffed at the Bur­rup be­ing un­pro­tected af­ter a reg­is­tered Abo­rig­i­nal site en­com­pass­ing much of the penin­sula was dereg­is­tered.

May 13

■ The State Govern­ment changes its ap­proach to re­mote com­mu­nity ser­vices by say­ing they will not close com­mu­ni­ties but will be­gin a re­form process.

■ Some 950 com­peti­tors took part in the Mother’s Day Clas­sic run in Kar­ratha.

May 20

■ Po­lice seized $150,000 of meth sent in a pack­age from Asia des­tined for Kar­ratha.

■ Blue Dog, pre­quel to film Red Dog, starts film­ing in the Pil­bara on Kar­ratha Sta­tion.

May 27

■ The Gos­sip Fes­ti­val, head­lined by DJ Ha­vana Brown, is a hit in Dampier.

■ Mt Wel­come Sta­tion marks more than 150 years.

June

June 3

■ The State Govern­ment be­gins the for­mal ac­qui­si­tion of more than 4300ha for An­ketell Port.

■ The Pil­bara iron high­way marked 50 years since con­struc­tion be­gan be­tween Tom Price and Dampier.

■ Some 300 com­peti­tors take part in the an­nual Red Dog Re­lay.

June 10

■ The WA Bal­let per­formed at Hear­son’s Cove.

■ Wick­ham’s Steven Say­lor was found safe and well on De­lam­bre Is­land af­ter be­ing swept away in a cur­rent while spearfish­ing.

June 17

■ The State Govern­ment was ac­cused of drag­ging its feet on Pil­bara Abo­rig­i­nal projects.

■ About $4.2 mil­lion was to be spent mov­ing a de­mount­able court­house to Kar­ratha to help ease the bur­den of poor fa­cil­i­ties.

June 24

■ The Shire of Ash­bur­ton passed a mo­tion to lobby for the seal­ing of Tom Price road.

■ More money for fuel and ac­com­mo­da­tion is rec­om­mended in an in­quiry into the Pa­tient As­sisted Travel Scheme.

July

July 1

■ Kar­ratha cel­e­brates its first year of be­ing a city.

■ A worker is in­jured in a crane col­lapse at The Quar­ter in Kar­ratha.

■ An in­quiry into FIFO men­tal health ta­bles a re­port on the is­sue.

July 8

■ Dampier cops a blow with the clo­sure of the Kan­ga­roo Hill Camp, which meant more than 200 FIFO work­ers were re­lo­cated to Kar­ratha.

■ Al­co­hol is re­vealed to be a fac­tor in three-quar­ters of do­mes­tic as­saults in the Pil­bara from 2009 to 2013.

July 15

■ Sav­ing An­i­mals From Eu­thana­sia cel­e­brated its 3000th re­homed dog in Kar­ratha.

July 22

■ Roe­bourne artist Wendy Darby wins the Cos­sack Art Awards for the se­cond time. ■ A refugee boat makes it as far as an oil tanker off the coast of Dampier for the se­cond time in three years. ■ A hor­ror month at sea, with a fish­ing trawler go­ing miss­ing and two fa­tal in­ci­dents off the coast.

July 29

■ A plan is ap­proved to de­velop the his­toric pearling town of Cos­sack with eco-ac­com­mo­da­tion and glamping fa­cil­i­ties.

■ Some $14,000 was raised by a team of run­ners at the Kar­ratha City to Surf in mem­ory of Lenni Ge­orge, who died in 2014.

■ The North West Meat Van crew were filmed for the Out­back Truck­ers pro­gram.

Au­gust

Au­gust 5

■ Tributes flow for muster pi­lot Rossy Ro­tor, who died af­ter he crashed a new kit copter.

■ Pas­toral­ists lock their gates to badly be­hav­ing day trip­pers.

Au­gust 12

■ The Abo­rig­i­nal Le­gal Ser­vice pulled out of its Roe­bourne and New­man of­fices but pledged to con­tinue pro­vid­ing ser­vices to the Kar­ratha cir­cuit.

■ Po­lice tow to shore the yacht Stickly Biz­ness, which was al­legedly in­volved in a drug syn­di­cate.

■ Traf­fic light num­bers in Kar­ratha bal­loon to eight only three years af­ter the first set of lights.

Bren­don Grylls says he will go Fed­eral if Barn­aby Joyce takes the reins and vies for more in­de­pen­dence from the Lib­er­als.

Au­gust 19

■ Li­censees in the City of Kar­ratha sign a new liquor ac­cord.

■ The Kar­ratha Storm trounced the Kar­ratha Bron­coes 34-12.

■ Kyle Adams wins the open bull ride at the Onslow Rodeo.

■ The Kar­ratha com­mu­nity raised $8000 to sup­port the fam­ily of Jaiden Par­ent, who died in a car crash.

■ The al­gae plant is re­vived.

■ A mu­sic pro­gram pro­vides big ben­e­fits for stu­dents in Roe­bourne. Au­gust 26

■ Mill­stream-Chich­ester Na­tional Park is ear­marked for tourism de­vel­op­ment.

■ The find­ings of the Pa­tient As­sisted Travel Scheme probe rec­om­mends more money is put into the ser­vice.

■ Of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics con­firm Pil­bara men’s great­est fear — they out­num­ber ladies more than two to one.

Septem­ber

Septem­ber 2

■ The sod was turned at the Kar­ratha Air­port for a 16,000sqm so­lar farm which will pro­vide about 25 to 30 per cent of the fa­cil­ity’s power.

■ Twelve cy­clists took part in the ride for unity over 578km, rais­ing funds to stop vi­o­lence.

Septem­ber 9

■ The Pu­utu Kunti Kur­rama and Pinkura peo­ples were de­ter­mined as tra­di­tional own­ers of 9521sqkm of land cov­er­ing the Ash­bur­ton Plains and Hamer­s­ley Plateau.

■ Lau­rence Overby and Kar­ratha lo­cal Sally Latham were all-round cow­boy and cow­girl of the 20th Robe River Rodeo in Pan­na­won­ica.

■ The Kar­ratha Kats re­serves win a premier­ship flag in South Hed­land, while the Swans trumped the Dampier Sharks in a tough grand fi­nal of the North Pil­bara Foot­ball League.

Septem­ber 16

■ Kar­ratha lo­cal Joel Jack­son starred in the Chan­nel 7 mini-se­ries Not the Boy Next Door as en­ter­tainer Peter Allen.

■ Liam Payne, 16, from Kar­ratha pe­ti­tioned the State Govern­ment over high air fares.

■ The Mel­bourne Cup toured Kar­ratha, as did the Chi­nese Consul Gen­eral to Perth and Dr Harry Cooper, the TV vet.

Septem­ber 23

■ Miss­ing prawn trawler the Re­turner is re­floated af­ter be­ing found at the bot­tom of Nickol Bay.

The body of the ves­sel’s skip­per, Mur­ray Turner, was dis­cov­ered on board but the fates of two deck­hands re­mained un­known.

■ The Red Earth Arts Fes­ti­val wows again with a street party bring­ing Kar­ratha to a stand­still and a blues con­cert in Dampier.

Septem­ber 30

■ The $35 mil­lion Kar­ratha Air­port ter­mi­nal upgrade is of­fi­cially opened by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter War­ren Truss and Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long.

■ Onslow was in cri­sis with a short­age of vol­un­teer paramedics to help cover 24-hour ser­vices.

■ For­mer Pil­bara man Ron Jacobs con­tro­ver­sially drove a white van with the words “Free Candy”

em­bla­zoned in red with bloody hand prints on his way to the Burn­ing Man fes­ti­val.

■ Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Terry Red­man ad­mit­ted ad­vi­sory coun­cils for re­mote ser­vices re­form would never be able to rep­re­sent all in­dige­nous peo­ple at the Yule River bush meet­ing.

Oc­to­ber

Oc­to­ber 7

■ Kar­ratha Bowl­ing Club needed a $300,000 grant to im­prove greens or face clo­sure.

■ Roe­bourne el­ders vil­lage opened and can house 18 peo­ple.

Oc­to­ber 14

■ A 24-year-old man died snorkelling in Co­ral Bay.

■ Some 200 white-col­lar jobs were axed at the Chevron run Wheat­stone LNG pro­ject.

■ The Pil­bara Re­gional In­vest­ment Blue­print was launched at the Com­mit­tee for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment of Aus­tralia con­fer­ence in Kar­ratha.

■ The an­nual Roe­bourne men’s and women’s din­ners were held.

Oc­to­ber 21

■ Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long, Shire of Ash­bur­ton Pres­i­dent Kerry White, and Shire of Ex­mouth Pres­i­dent Turk Shales are all re­turned af­ter lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions.

■ Kar­ratha pub­li­can Bart Par­sons re­ceived the last seat on the Kar­ratha coun­cil when his name was pulled out of a box af­ter ty­ing with Julie Pope.

■ Pil­bara po­lice adopt a UK method of tar­get­ing houses with the most po­lice call-outs.

Oc­to­ber 28

■ WA Coun­try Health Ser­vices is tipped to re­ceive $900,000 to pro­vide spe­cial­ist men­tal health teams for 16 to 24-year-olds in two Pil­bara towns.

Six sub-acute men­tal health beds were also planned to be pro­vided in a new fa­cil­ity in Kar­ratha.

■ Kelly Nunn wins Wick­ham’s Ci­ti­zen of the Year hon­ours.

Novem­ber

Novem­ber 4

■ A na­tional sur­vey said the City of Kar­ratha was the most af­ford­able place to own a home as res­i­dents had the most money left over af­ter mort­gage re­pay­ments.

■ A trial for tourists to swim with hump­back whales in Ex­mouth was floated by the State Govern­ment to the cau­tious en­thu­si­asm of tour oper­a­tors.

Novem­ber 11

■ A large pri­vate in­vest­ment was pro­posed for Onslow, with pro­po­nents meet­ing lo­cal stake­hold­ers about build­ing a $400 mil­lion to $500 mil­lion marine sup­ply base in Beadon Creek.

■ Ex­mouth Shire blows up coloured sand to mark the be­gin­ning of con­struc­tion of the $32 mil­lion Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre, which will be home to UWA Oceans In­sti­tute, the Durack Cen­tre of Tech­nol­ogy and a li­brary and in­ter­pre­tive cen­tre.

■ New Min­is­ter for the North Josh Fry­den­berg vis­its the Pil­bara but lacks knowl­edge about man­goes, Red Dog and bush chooks.

■ Lanterns lit up the Dampier Fore­shore on a windy night to raise money for the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion.

■ Parabur­doo held a Colour Run to raise money for Be­yond Blue.

Novem­ber 18

■ A Pil­bara lo­cal cuts his hands col­lect­ing kilo­grams of dis­carded fish­ing weights and line along the coast.

■ Mem­ber for Durack Melissa Price ac­cuses air­line Qan­tas of price-goug­ing.

■ A stoush erupts be­tween Premier Colin Bar­nett and Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Terry Red­man over the re­newal of a lease for a fly-in, fly-out ac­com­mo­da­tion camp in New­man.

Novem­ber 25

■ The City of Kar­ratha is ap­proached the Depart­ment of Lands to man­age de­te­ri­o­rat­ing her­itage build­ings in Roe­bourne and Cos­sack.

■ The new Port Wal­cott Surf Live Sav­ing Club hosts its last nip­pers event for the year.

■ An in­quest into the death in cus­tody of a South Hed­land woman is told that po­lice told med­i­cal staff she was fak­ing her symp­toms mo­ments be­fore she died from sep­ti­caemia and pneu­mo­nia.

■ St Luke’s stu­dent An­shula Ashish wins the $5000 Walk­ing­ton schol­ar­ship.

■ City of Kar­ratha coun­cil­lors de­cide full­strength al­co­hol should be put back on the menu at the Kar­ratha air­port for a six­month trial, five years af­ter a ban was im­posed.

■ Po­lice­men, emer­gency ser­vices, and men from the army took the White Rib­bon Day pledge to stand against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence com­mit­ted by males.

De­cem­ber

De­cem­ber 2

■ De­cem­ber started with a Depart­ment of Fish­eries re­lease high­light­ing just how many fish are caught by boat-based an­glers off the coast.

Sta­tis­tics found more than 16,000 span­gled em­peror were caught in Pil­bara wa­ters, al­though lo­cal fish­ers ques­tioned the ac­cu­racy of the num­bers.

De­cem­ber 9

■ The City of Kar­ratha re­ceived a huge fi­nan­cial wind­fall through the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Na­tional Stronger Re­gions Fund, with $12 mil­lion in­jected into the Kar­ratha Arts and Com­mu­nity Precinct.

Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion also re­ceived $2 mil­lion for the restora­tion of the Vic­to­ria Ho­tel through the same fund.

■ In Ex­mouth, Durack MP Melissa Price threw her sup­port be­hind the pro­posed deep­wa­ter port and Sal Salis Eco Re­sort was the first to an­nounce in­ten­tions to start hump­back whale swim tours.

De­cem­ber 16

■ As the year wound up, Kar­ratha’s Joel Jack­son won an AACTA award for his work on Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door.

■ The month was not with­out con­tro­versy, with the City of Kar­ratha and lo­cal politi­cians slam­ming WA Coun­try Health Ser­vices over its han­dling of the Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus De­vel­op­ment.

De­cem­ber 23

■ The end of the year saw Wick­ham re­ceive the GP clinic it had long been call­ing for, and two pre­sumed ex­tinct sea snakes were found on the Nin­ga­loo Reef.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

In 2015, the Pil­bara was in­tro­duced to Chilly Bin Man.

Pic­ture: Caro­line Moy­lan

The Pil­bara ghost town of Cos­sack were used for a home­grown con­tem­po­rary dance per­for­mance that moved through many of the site’s his­toric build­ings.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Roe­bourne com­mu­nity sends a clear mes­sage to the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments about re­mote com­mu­nity clo­sures.

Pic­ture: Steve Fer­rier

Kar­ratha ac­tor Joel Jack­son.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Lexy Rood­nat and Mitch Men­naugh watch as Jake, 5, plays in the Dampier “snow” flats af­ter sub-20C tem­per­a­tures.

Pic­ture: Meagan Hart­ley Pho­tog­ra­phy

As the sun’s first rays spread across the Pil­bara land­scape, hun­dreds of res­i­dents gath­ered to com­mem­o­rate and hon­our the An­zacs at the Onslow War Me­mo­rial.

Pic­ture: Peter de Krui­jff

WA Bal­let dancers Phoebe Slee­man, Melissa Boni­face, Chris­tian Luke, Polly Hil­ton, Meg Parry and Reika Sato per­formed at Hear­son’s Cove.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

One of the cur­rent crop of lo­co­mo­tives hard at work on the rail­way.

Pic­ture: Danella Be­vis

Whim Creek Ho­tel gen­eral man­ager John Smithies toasts its re­open­ing.

Pic­ture: Court­ney Fowler

Caine Hayes, 7, and Fred­er­ica Carel­loo from Free­dom Fairies face­paint­ing stall at the Pas­sion of the Pil­bara fes­ti­val.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

North Tom Price Pri­mary won the Name­less Jarn­dun­munha Fes­ti­val float pa­rade.

Pic­ture: Mar­garet Bertling

Cos­sack Art Award over­all win­ner Wendy Darby with her win­ning work, Coun­try, along­side judges Ver­non Ah Kee and John McDon­ald, City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long and Rio Tinto gen­eral man­ager rail op­er­a­tions Zara Fisher.

Pic­ture: David Darcy

Red Dog se­quel Blue Dog is a com­ing of age story about a young boy Mick (played by Levi Miller), his fam­ily and a scrappy, one-of-a-kind kelpie (played by Pheonix).

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Tra­di­tional dancers at the Strong Men’s Din­ner.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Re­turner be­ing lifted into a stor­age yard.

BT, an or­phan joey, found near Whim Creek.

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