Coun­cil call to re­ject camp

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The di­vi­sive de­bate on a 700-bed fly-in, fly-out work­ers’ camp planned for Kar­ratha con­tin­ues as coun­cil­lors last week urged the State Govern­ment to re­ject plans for the fa­cil­ity, de­scrib­ing it as “anti-lo­cal”.

City of Kar­ratha coun­cil­lors con­sid­ered their of­fi­cial po­si­tion on a lease for Wood­side’s planned Bay Vil­lage fa­cil­ity at a meet­ing last Mon­day in re­sponse to a State Govern­ment re­quest, and unan­i­mously voted to op­pose it.

The final mo­tion states the City will ad­vise min­is­ters it ob­jects to the fa­cil­ity, write to Wood­side’s board ask­ing for the lease to be re­con­sid­ered, and re­quest that the Depart­ment of Plan­ning, Lands and Her­itage deny the ap­pli­ca­tion.

It also stated City chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Adams would talk to the Depart­ment of Plan­ning, Lands and Her­itage direc­tor-gen­eral about the City po­ten­tially leas­ing land flagged for the camp, in­stead of Wood­side pro­po­nent DIF.

“The pro­posal is anti-lo­cal jobs, anti-lo­cal busi­ness and does not demon­strate a com­mit­ment to best prac­tice by Wood­side,” it said.

Wood­side Aus­tralian busi­ness vice-pres­i­dent Brad Rus­sell-Lane said the com­pany was “dis­ap­pointed” with the City’s po­si­tion on the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment. “We’re com­mit­ted to Kar­ratha and we’ll con­tinue to keep work­ing closely with the com­mu­nity, City of Kar­ratha and State Govern­ment on these mat­ters,” he said.

Wood­side is plan­ning to build the new $400 mil­lion FIFO work­ers’ camp on Bal­moral Road in Nickol as an an al­ter­na­tive to the com­pany’s pre­vi­ously planned Gap Ridge Vil­lage fa­cil­ity.

The fa­cil­ity would house work­ers for new com­pany projects in­clud­ing a life ex­ten­sion of the North West Shelf Project, pro­cess­ing nat­u­ral gas from the Browse Basin and ex­pand­ing the Pluto LNG plant.

Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel said he had some con­cerns there was lit­tle res­i­den­tial work in­volved in the camp’s con­struc­tion and main­te­nance, and said the cur­rent pro­posal did not strike the right bal­ance.

How­ever, he said he would be lob­by­ing Wood­side and sev­eral Govern­ment min­is­ters to in­crease the num­ber of lo­cal jobs avail­able.

WA Na­tion­als deputy leader Jac­qui Boy­dell also crit­i­cised the planned camp, say­ing Wood­side had not demon­strated why it needed a FIFO camp for lo­cal projects.

The State Govern­ment is yet to ap­prove a lease ap­pli­ca­tion for the fa­cil­ity but is can­vass­ing the opin­ions of lo­cal groups to in­form its de­ci­sion.

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