Shire rejects industry push
The Shire of Ashburton has once again knocked back the State Government’s plans for the development of the Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area.
The Department of State Development plans to improve and develop the ANSIA, however acceptance of Chevron’s proposal to house an operational workforce at the site is causing a stir.
North West Central MLA Vince Catania praised the Shire’s decision to continue to reject the proposed scheme.
“It is ludicrous to have 9000 people based 30km out of Onslow — a town already designed and set up to cater for people to live,” he said.
“Chevron should honour their promise and commitment to the town on ensuring that their permanent workforce is located in Onslow.”
While the Shire is comfortable with housing construction workers in the accommodation, it is against plans for the operational workforce to reside there, with concerns about the potential impact it could have on the town.
Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Jacqui Boydell agreed with the council’s stance.
“I think the Onslow issue is a complex jigsaw of how we go ahead in planning, how that community is going to cope with the Chevrons of the world and (them) coming into that community,” she said.
Aside from the temporary work camps, the scheme poses other concerns for the Shire of Ashburton. The WA Planning Commission will be the prime decisionmaker within the ANSIA; however the Shire’s role relating to development applications is unclear.
“The Shire is of the view that the area and its activities should be well planned and take into consideration its impacts on the nearby town of Onslow and the capacity of the Shire to assist with matters like development compliance,” Shire president Kerry White said.
Chevron and the State Government came under fire in August 2014 when they backflipped on an agreement with the Shire to house workers in town.