City nod to Bay Vil­lage camp

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Beat­tie

City of Kar­ratha coun­cil­lors ap­proved an amended Wood­side pro­posal for Bay Vil­lage last week af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment in­ter­vened.

The re­vised con­di­tions in­clude a lim­ited ap­proval of 10 years with the op­tion of a five-year ex­ten­sion and the re­duc­tion in beds from 700 to 604, and the use of the camp will be lim­ited to Wood­side em­ploy­ees and con­trac­tors.

The City was left with lit­tle choice when, just two days be­fore the de­ci­sion, Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Lands Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti trig­gered call-in rights.

“The de­ci­sion was made to call in the ap­pli­ca­tion be­cause the projects that Wood­side are cur­rently propos­ing in the Pil­bara are of State and re­gional sig­nif­i­cance,” she said.

“The call-in was used to fi­nalise what has been more than a year of dis­cus­sions be­tween a num­ber of par­ties and to bring cer­tainty over the de­vel­op­ment.”

Mayor Peter Long said coun­cil­lors had been ad­vised be­fore the coun­cil meet­ing Wood­side had no­ti­fied the State Gov­ern­ment of its need to op­er­ate the fa­cil­ity for longer than 10 years.

“The plan­ning ap­proval granted by the City now con­sti­tutes a 15year ap­proval pe­riod,” he said.

“We ex­pect Wood­side to no­tify the min­is­ter for plan­ning and State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal that both par­ties are now sat­is­fied with the terms and con­di­tions of the de­vel­op­ment ap­proval and it will with­draw its ap­pli­ca­tion for review.”

How­ever, Ms Saf­fi­oti has ad­vised that even though the coun­cil has sup­ported the 15-year pro­posal, she is still re­quired to fol­low through with the call-in process.

A Wood­side spokesper­son said the com­pany recog­nised and ap­pre­ci­ated the City’s col­lab­o­ra­tion on Bay Vil­lage but would con­tinue with par­al­lel ap­peal pro­cesses.

“We still need con­fir­ma­tion that we have plan­ning ap­proval cer­tainty for the full 15 years, this is crit­i­cal to our long-term busi­ness plan­ning,” the spokesper­son said.

As part of the ap­proval, Wood­side must com­ply with all of the City’s other con­di­tions. in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a daily bus ser­vice for res­i­dents of the fa­cil­ity so they can eas­ily ac­cess lo­cal re­tail­ers and ser­vices, and com­mit­ments around lo­cal con­tract­ing dur­ing construction and op­er­a­tions.

“We wanted to make sure that the lo­cal com­mu­nity got sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits from these projects,” Mr Long said.

“It was ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary for the City to ad­vo­cate the strongly held views of our com­mu­nity and seek a bet­ter out­come than what was orig­i­nally pro­posed for this fa­cil­ity.”

The Wood­side spokesper­son said the com­pany was now look­ing for­ward to fi­nal­is­ing the plan­ning ap­proval and crown lease. Once ap­provals are in place, construction is ex­pected to take 12 months, cre­at­ing about 70 lo­cal jobs.

Pic­ture: Wood­side

An artist's im­pres­sion of the Bay Vil­lage camp in Kar­ratha.

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