Shire re­jects in­dus­try push

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

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.

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