Kar­ratha gets nod as ripe for re­gional cash

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Beattie

Kar­ratha has been recog­nised as a great place to live and work af­ter Re­gional Cap­i­tals Al­liance WA en­dorsed the city as one of the two most vi­able State can­di­dates for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gional Deals pol­icy.

Re­gional Deals brings to­gether all lev­els of gov­ern­ment to de­velop cities and iden­tify new and im­por­tant ways to grow the re­gional econ­omy, in­clud­ing up to $100 mil­lion in fund­ing to help it hap­pen.

The 10 re­gional cap­i­tals that make up the al­liance voted on the two most ready WA cities, with Kar­ratha and Al­bany iden­ti­fied as the top can­di­dates.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said there is a mis­con­cep­tion that if you live and work in re­gional ar­eas you are miss­ing out.

“Our city has at­trac­tive ca­reer prospects, high-qual­ity in­fra­struc­ture, ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties, and an en­vi­able life­style,” he said.

“We will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for fund­ing and re­sources to iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow our re­gional econ­omy to reach its full po­ten­tial.”

Re­gional Cap­i­tals Aus­tralia will now help lobby the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment on Kar­ratha’s be­half.

RCA chair­woman Saman­tha McIn­tosh said Kar­ratha had con­firmed with a great deal of cred­i­bil­ity that it was at the top of the rung.

“Given that they’re ready for it, we would like to see some­thing hap­pen as soon as pos­si­ble,” she said. “Our goal will be to high­light the need for this re­gional deal and try to get a com­mit­ment as soon as we can.”

The idea of Re­gional Deals is for the three lev­els of gov­ern­ment to work to­gether to tai­lor the deals to each in­di­vid­ual city and fo­cus on what is most im­por­tant to help them grow.

“Kar­ratha is a much newer city and has dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments — it’s sur­rounded by wa­ter and very re­mote from other parts of the State,” Ms McIn­tosh said.

“Con­nec­tiv­ity is there­fore some­thing that will be very im­por­tant for them. We want to make sure that Kar­ratha has the ap­pro­pri­ate air, rail and road con­nec­tions to make sure they can re­spond to the chal­lenges of pop­u­la­tion growth.”

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