Fes­ti­vals part of a busy year

Cul­ture, traf­fic routes and Ja­ji­wara na­tive ti­tle were top of our minds.

Pilbara News - - News -


The Kar­ratha Bikers As­so­ci­a­tion kicked off its an­nual toy run from Point Sam­son to Dampier.

The bikers col­lected five boxes of toys and more than $2000 of food vouch­ers for the Salvos.

A Pil­bara cou­ple be­came the he­roes the na­tion needed when they turned a ter­mite mound into a poo emoji.

The Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub was opened by Pil­bara MLA Bren­don Grylls, fol­low­ing hot on the heels of the Kar­ratha Quar­ter devel­op­ment.

Whale sharks’ threat as­sess­ment level was upped to en­dan­gered, with the IUCN point­ing the fin­ger at by-catch and coun­tries where the gen­tle giants are not pro­tected.

Roe­bourne’s Holy Trin­ity Angli­can Church had a visit from the Na­tional Trust of Aus­tralia, which came on­board to as­sist in rais­ing funds and putting a plan to­gether to re­store the land­mark.


Au­gust is fes­ti­val month and as usual, the FeNaClNG and Name­less fes­ti­vals brought plenty of vi­brancy to town.

The hump­back whale swim trial started in Ex­mouth and re­ceived al­most uni­ver­sally pos­i­tive feed­back from the get-go.

Pil­bara MLA Bren­don Grylls re­gained his old job as WA Na­tion­als leader and took on a hotly de­bated $5/tonne tax on the big two Pil­bara min­ers.

Roe­bourne cel­e­brated its 150th an­niver­sary with a cul­tural con­cert and var­i­ous lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the week.

Rio Tinto also cel­e­brated an an­niver­sary, mark­ing 50 years of iron ore ship­ments with gala balls, and a touring snap­shot into the com­pany’s his­tory.

Yara’s tech­ni­cal am­mo­nium ni­trates plant on the Bur­rup Penin­sula was opened by WA Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett.


The Kar­ratha Kats trav­elled north to Hed­land and up­set the home side and premier­ship favourites for the sec­ond time in three years. They beat the South Hed­land Swans by 34 points.

North West Cen­tral MLA Vince Cata­nia caused a stir by an­nounc­ing a bold plan to re­duce re­gional air­fares by in­tro­duc­ing a Gov­ern­ment-reg­u­lated mo­nop­oly over all re­gional air routes.

Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy data re­vealed the Pil­bara’s dry sea­son was one of the wettest in his­tory, with pas­toral­ists buoyed by con­stant win­ter rains. But East Pil­bara barely re­ceived a drop.

The City of Kar­ratha an­nounced the much-ma­ligned cross­ing in front of the Leisure­plex would get a pel­i­can cross­ing fur­ther away from the round­about.

Yara and the City of Kar­ratha re­vealed they were in talks with a Norwegian eco-agri­cul­ture firm about start­ing up in­ten­sive agri­cul­ture on Kar­ratha’s doorstep.

De­tails of a re­port re­veal­ing a toxic cul­ture in­side the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs were high­lighted at the Yule River event by Greens Mem­ber for Mining and Pas­toral Robin Chap­ple.


Tragedy struck in Oc­to­ber as we lost yet an­other soul to the sea.

Nor­man Bale dis­ap­peared from Back Beach at the start of the month, and while his dinghy was found near Cleaverville, his body was never re­cov­ered.

Onslow beefed up its so­lar cre­den­tials with an an­nounce­ment the town would be­come home to Aus­tralia’s largest so­lar en­ergy grid, enough to power more than half the town’s en­ergy needs.

Whim Creek Ho­tel went big in Oc­to­ber, host­ing 3000 peo­ple for the first Whim Creek Rodeo.

Calls for politi­cians to take up the fight to re­sources com­pa­nies to pri­ori­tise res­i­den­tial em­ploy­ment were made af­ter a lo­cal fam­ily re­vealed they may have to leave town be­cause they were over­looked in favour of fly-in, fly­out work­ers.

Af­ter it was re­vealed one of Wood­side’s op­tions for its new TWA camp was in Tam­brey, where it would un­der­pin a long-mooted sec­ond shop­ping precinct, lo­cal and State Gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­di­cated they were lob­by­ing to en­sure the oil and gas ma­jor moved to town.


Sal Salis on the Nin­ga­loo Coast was rated the fourth best place in the world to stay, ac­cord­ing to Lonely Planet. Hav­ing stayed there, we would not ar­gue.

Port Hed­land Air­port chief ex­ec­u­tive Mitchell Cameron ex­pressed con­cerns an in­ter­na­tional flight from Kar­ratha would un­der­mine Hed­land’s Bali ser­vice. De­spite this the City of Kar­ratha went ahead to call ten­ders for a Sin­ga­pore flight.

Af­ter nearly 20 years, the Ku­ruma Marthud­hunera peo­ple were given na­tive ti­tle over Ja­ji­wara. Lead­ers used the mo­ment to crit­i­cise the Gov­ern­ment for mak­ing them jump through too many hoops to achieve what was right­fully theirs.

The world pre­miere of Red Dog: True Blue in Kar­ratha was con­firmed for De­cem­ber 3 and City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long re­vealed talks were ad­vanc­ing for a mu­seum in hon­our of the Pil­bara’s loveable mutt.

An­other crash at the Dampier High­way-De Witt Road in­ter­sec­tion stirred Kar­ratha res­i­dents.

Since lights were in­stalled in 2015, 10 ac­ci­dents had oc­curred.


Red Dog: True Blue made its world pre­miere in Kar­ratha, with a huge au­di­ence watch­ing the pre­quel to the movie which made the dog a house­hold name.

Qan­tas came un­der fire for try­ing to charge more than $12,000 for a Parabur­doo fam­ily to fly to Launce­s­ton.

Roe­bourne Art Group called for an indige­nous art quota for Pil­bara de­vel­op­ments.

Per­form­ers at Ex­mouth Whale Shark Fest

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Chrissie and So­phie McDow­ell, wife and daugh­ter of lo­cal leg­end Ross McDow­ell who died in a he­li­copter ac­ci­dent last year. An undies run team was named Rossy Ro­tor Root­ers in hon­our of So­phie's fa­ther.

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ju­luwarlu Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chair­woman Lor­raine Cop­pin, Michaela Wood­ley, 2, Taz­eren-Denna Lock­yer, 5, and JAC ar­chive man­ager Noe­lene Har­ri­son.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Terry Red­man watches danc­ing at Yule River.

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

Phoenix, star of Red Dog: True Blue.

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