CITY VI­SION GAINS SPEED

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr and Ali­cia Per­era

Calls for politi­cians to re­new fo­cus on es­tab­lish­ing a ma­jor city in the North West, po­ten­tially in Kar­ratha, have re­ceived the back­ing of two prom­i­nent West Aus­tralians.

On Seven’s new panel show Flash­point last week, for­mer for­eign min­is­ter Julie Bishop and WA builder Dale Al­cock said cre­at­ing a North West city would show­case WA to key Asian trad­ing part­ners.

A City of Kar­ratha spokes­woman said it “made sense” for Kar­ratha to be con­sid­ered.

Two prom­i­nent West Aus­tralians have called on politi­cians to re­new fo­cus on build­ing a ma­jor city in the North West.

Speak­ing to Seven’s new panel show Flash­point last week, for­mer for­eign min­is­ter Julie Bishop said a city closer to key trad­ing part­ners would help show­case WA.

“Perth is one of the most live­able ci­ties on the planet but wouldn’t it be great if we had large pop­u­la­tion cen­tres else­where in our State,” she said.

“For ex­am­ple, up north, so we could have a world-class city close to our South-East Asian neigh­bours.”

WA builder Dale Al­cock voiced his sup­port for the idea. He said Kar­ratha would be the best choice to es­tab­lish a ma­jor North West city.

“One of the things I think needs to change is our re­liance on fly-in, fly-out to get pop­u­la­tion sta­ble in these ar­eas,” he said.

“I don’t think that is some­thing the State (Gov­ern­ment) alone can deal with.

“I think it needs Fed­eral as­sis­tance with that to pro­vide tax in­cen­tives and so-forth for young fam­i­lies to es­tab­lish them­selves there.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan said pol­i­cy­mak­ers needed to fo­cus on jobs be­fore try­ing to boost pop­u­la­tion.

“They are ter­rific com­mu­ni­ties — Kar­ratha, Hed­land, Broome, Ku­nunurra, Carnar­von and Ger­ald­ton,” he said.

“They are not as big as the Queens­land coastal ci­ties but on the other hand it is great they are sub­stan­tial towns now. You have to al­ways make sure you have the jobs avail­able for peo­ple to live there.”

A City of Kar­ratha spokes­woman said the coun­cil had been ac­tively pro­mot­ing the area as an at­trac­tive place to live and work with sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing through its mem­ber­ship of the Re­gional Cap­i­tals Al­liance.

“Kar­ratha sup­ports some of the world’s largest re­sources projects and has high-stan­dard fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices so it makes sense to strengthen Kar­ratha’s po­si­tion as the re­gional cap­i­tal of the North West,” she said.

“There is a cer­tainty around our fu­ture, a grow­ing, more di­verse eco­nomic base and a large num­ber of em­ploy­ment op­tions avail­able.”

Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel said the Pil­bara was a won­der­ful place to live and work in and was a huge con­trib­u­tor to the WA econ­omy through a range of in­dus­tries.

... up north, so we could have a world-class city, close to . . . Asian neigh­bours. Julie Bishop

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