Reduced rate increase following community feedback

The City of Karratha Council has opted to reduce its proposed rate increase for residential properties to an average of 1 per cent following a public advertising and submission period.

The revised model means that 32 per cent of property owners will receive a reduction in their rates, while 38 per cent will increase by less than 2 per cent.

Overall the increase in rate yield for 2018/18 will be less than a third of the consumer price index.

In addition, the City will develop a policy around rate relief for property owners facing hardship.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Council had listened to the calls from the community and opted for the minimum rate increase possible while continuing to maintain the standard of services expected from the community.

“While there are clear signs of economic recovery and many exciting projects on the horizon, we understand that some people in the community are doing it tough at the moment and we have tried to implement a rate model which has the smallest impact on those in most difficulty,” Cr Long said.

“The City has critically reviewed all areas of its expenditure in an attempt to reduce costs and is actively looking at ways to increase revenues from sources other than rates. The City has deferred spending on new equipment, increased energy efficiency measures and improved procurement processes to maximise savings.”

“At the same time we are delivering more and better services to the community including the new Red Earth Arts Precinct, upgraded roads and footpaths, new parks and ovals, community events and additional sporting facilities."

"Our community survey feedback indicates that the community loves these facilities and wants to see more of this type of activity. The 2018/19 proposed rates reflects the minimum increase possible while maintaining and improving the delivery of these services and facilities.”

"Unfortuantely due to a revaluation of properties this year rates will fluctuate between property owners.”

“Rates are calculated by multiplying the gross rental value of a property set by the State Government, by the rate in the dollar set by Council.”

“Each property is valued individually so changes in value are inconsistent across the City, and even within suburbs and towns.”

“As valuations have dropped this year, the rate in the dollar charged has increased to ensure the City receives the rate yield required to deliver the infrastructure and services planned for the next financial year.”

“When valuations have previously increased, Council has significantly reduced the rate in the dollar to compensate."

The City’s 10-year Long Term Financial Plan anticipates annual rates income growth of approximately 2 per cent per annum.

Council calls wrong decision on State Government camp approval

The City of Karratha has condemned the State Government’s decision to allow Woodside Energy to build Transient Workforce Accommodation in Karratha. 

Premier Mark McGowan announced the approval of a 30-year land lease for the camp earlier today, subject to a memorandum of understanding.

The development will see a 700-bed camp built on the outskirts of town. The Premier has linked this project to the potential Browse and Scarborough gas projects. 

While the City is extremely keen to see Browse and Scarborough gas fields processed through the Burrup gas processing facilities, the application to the government for this proposal did not mention these projects and, to date, there has been no commitment from Woodside to progress with these initiatives. 

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said that approving the camp on this basis is putting the cart before the horse. He did welcome the announcement regarding Woodside’s local jobs portal but indicated that this commitment to local jobs seems to be at odds with the decision to allow a new, very large camp to be built for FIFO employees. 

“This camp approval has disregarded the best interests of residents and the community will be disappointed with this decision,” Cr Long said.

“Housing workers in such a segregated manner is old school thinking and will result in poor outcomes for the community.  Where FIFO is necessary, our desire is to integrate FIFO workers into the community with quality, permanent buildings near to town facilities; much like what has been achieved by Rio Tinto in Wickham,” he said.

The TWA proposal was overwhelmingly rejected by the community in a survey conducted at the end of last year with 80 per cent of respondents preferring operational workers to be accommodated residentially in town based dwellings.

The City did offer better solutions but they were rejected. To date, Woodside has refused to issue a copy of the plans and drawings so that Council can properly assess the proposal.

Research commissioned by the Karratha Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry indicates that the decision brings with it a net loss of 69 local jobs and takes $4.8 million in local incomes and $6.6 million per year from the local economy; figures which City of Karratha residents found unacceptable in the recent survey.

Cr Long noted that Council was doing its best to grow local employment and Woodside did not demonstrate to Council a need for this village at this time, particularly for a 30-year term. 

Council will continue to advocate for local community in this matter, working with the State Government and Woodside to try to ensure the best possible outcomes for residents and the local community from this poor decision.

The Perfect Place to Call Home

KARSW 2018-02-26 Warambie Estate Karratha Feb 2018 LR-2606.jpg

With its 100 villas, Warambie Estate is the perfect place for your staff to call home. Located within the city centre, and a short walk to the Karratha City Shopping Centre, the estate is set amongst a lush park, complete with BBQ facilities. Warambie Estate also features an outdoor playing area and parking for boats.

This affordable accommodation is ideal for singles, couples and families, with its mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes. Each home has an energy efficiency star rating of between and 7 and 8.5. All the villas are fitted with their own solar panels, so residents will benefit from reduced power bills all-year round. 

With six different architecturally designed home styles available, Warambie Estate was built for employees who support the community in the City of Karratha, and are working in retail, tourism and general services sector.


Warambie Estate provides subsidised, affordable living for service workers in Karratha. 

A joint application from employers and employees is required for a home in Warambie Estate, which will be assessed in accordance with eligibility criteria. To be eligible to secure a villa at Warambie Estate you must be employed in a job designated as providing an essential service to the community. This may be in: 

  • A not-for-profit, non-government organisation. 
  • A local, State or Federal Government department where the services provided are in the City of Karratha and directly service these communities. 
  • A business enterprise providing services within the City of Karratha. 

For more information, and eligibility criteria, contact the Warambie Estate Facility Manager, Erica Prestidge on 0401 942 474 or visit

KARSW 2018-02-26 Warambie Estate Karratha Feb 2018 LR-2490.jpg

Local company to build viewing platform

Trasan Contracting have been awarded the tender for Stage One of the Point Samson Foreshore Management Project.

A decision was made at the March Ordinary Council Meeting to award the construction of the 70 metre viewing platform off Point Samson beach to the local Karratha company, injecting almost $1million back into the local economy.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the project had been a number of years in the planning and now that the contract had been awarded, residents could expect to see on the ground works begin in April.

“The Point Samson Community Association have been a driving force behind this project and we are very pleased to be able to commence construction of the viewing platform, especially with a local contractor,” Cr Long said.

“The new platform design reflects the history of the precinct with the platform to imitate certain aspects of the original jetty and site. I know the community are very excited to see this project come to fruition and all going well it should be completed and in use by mid-2018,” he said.

This development forms part of Council’s work to rejuvenate the Point Samson Foreshore under the Point Samson Foreshore Management Plan.

The proposed second stage of this project is a jetty that extends 150m out over the water, ending with a fishing platform. However funding is yet to be allocated for this component.


Karratha-Brisbane flight schedules released

JETGO Australia will provide direct flights between Karratha and Brisbane from the 25th June subject to final regulatory approval.

The Karratha to Brisbane service will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays from the 25th June until 21st September, and then Wednesdays and Fridays from the 24th September.

The Brisbane to Karratha service will operate on Mondays and Thursdays from the 25th June until 21st September, and then Mondays and Wednesdays from the 24th September.

Tickets will be available online from from Thursday 5th April.

JETGO Australia’s Managing Director Airlines Paul Bredereck said the company was very excited to offer the new services, marking two major milestones for the company. 

“JETGO currently operates the smaller Embraer ERJ135, ERJ140 and ERJ145 jets with 37, 44 and 50 seats. This service will see Jetgo introduce the larger 98 seat Embraer E190 to its fleet along with Business Class,” Mr Bredereck said.

“The larger E190, whilst new to JETGO Australia’s fleet, has previously been operated in Australia by Virgin Australia and Cobham, and is very popular in the region.”

The new services are being established with support from the City of Karratha.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said expanding services from Karratha Airport had been a top priority for Council.

“We consistently receive feedback from the community that they want more flight options from Karratha and we have been working hard to attract additional services,” Cr Long said.

“We are delighted at the introduction of Brisbane flights, opening up new opportunities for inbound travel to the City of Karratha and direct access to the East Coast and international connections from Brisbane Airport,” Cr Long said.  

“JETGO Australia is planning to introduce flights between Karratha and Singapore from late September, however considerably more work is required before these flights can commence,” he added.

Tickets will be available online from from Thursday 5th April.


Council disappointed at Water Police loss

The City of Karratha Council has expressed its disappointment at the announcement that WA Police resources will be withdrawn from the community when the North West Water Police, based in Dampier, will be shut down at the end of the month.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said that the North West Water Police had a vital presence in the community especially given their heavy involvement in a number of recent incidents in the City of Karratha and wider Pilbara region.

“It is with great regret that we have learned of the decision to retire WA Water Police vessel Delphinus which is currently based in Dampier,” he said.

“Delphinus has provided a preventative police presence for the region’s critical infrastructure since 2006 and has been heavily involved in a number of security and safety incidents including the recent drug bust in Dampier Port, marine accidents such as The Returner fishing boat sinking, island rescues, and the helicopter incident in Port Hedland.”

“I met with the Pilbara Police Superintendent Paul Coombes and Local Member for the Pilbara Kevin Michel today to express the Council’s concern and we urge the State and Federal Governments to step up to the mark and replace the Delphinus with a new vessel capable of providing these essential services in our remote north-west.“

Karratha Podiatry Rural Placement

 WA Centre for Rural Health Associate Professors Dr Rohan Rasiah, Dr Monica Moran, Lecturer Ornissa Naidoo (at right) with UWA Doctor of Podiatric Medicine students Evan Papadopoulos, Mengyuan Huang and Deborah Lai-Tong on placement in Karratha, WA.

WA Centre for Rural Health Associate Professors Dr Rohan Rasiah, Dr Monica Moran, Lecturer Ornissa Naidoo (at right) with UWA Doctor of Podiatric Medicine students Evan Papadopoulos, Mengyuan Huang and Deborah Lai-Tong on placement in Karratha, WA.

Written by UWA Doctor of Podiatric Medicine students Deborah Lai-Tong, Mengyuan Huang, and Evan Papadopoulos. 

In February 2018, as final year University of Western Australia Doctor of Podiatric Medicine post-graduate students, three of us undertook a two-week non-traditional rural placement with the WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) in Karratha, Western Australia. This placement was liaised through UWA’s Head of Division Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Associate Professor Michael Wilding, and organised by WACRH’s Associate Professor Dr Monica Moran and the rest of the WACRH team based in Karratha.

The placement involved an orientation program outlining health care in the Pilbara region, community project work and visits to the Hedland Health Campus. A significant portion of our time was spent with the UWA medical students learning about the issues of healthcare faced in the Pilbara region, especially high staff turnover, limited resources and transport limitations in delivering health care, as well as the programs set in place to help tackle these difficult issues. ‘Closing the gap’ is a major focus in the Pilbara, aiming to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. We were able to merge the theories we’ve discussed into real-life experiences during our visits to the Hedland Health Campus with Dr Scott Westover, who did everything he could to ensure a rich learning opportunity for podiatry, and more importantly rural podiatry.

Despite the weight of the topics we were being faced with during our placement, our experience was nothing short of amazing. Not only did we learn valuable lessons about podiatry in the rural health care setting, we were also able to explore the surrounding towns, go on a boat cruise, and eat at many of the local restaurants.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the WACRH staff, Dr Scott Westover and Associate Professor Michael Wilding for organising such an enriching rural experience for us.

Waiting continues on Bay Village

The State Government is yet to hand down a decision on whether Woodside’s proposal for a 700-bed FIFO camp on the outskirts of Karratha will be allowed to go ahead.

Council maintains there is no demonstrated need for the development and allowing it go to ahead would be detrimental for the local community.

Should the proposal be approved, a study undertaken by the Karratha Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry indicates 69 local jobs would be lost and $6.6 million would be removed from the local economy each year.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said he was optimistic the State Government would take the interests of the local community under consideration and make the right decision for those that live locally.

“The State Government is taking its time with this decision and I am hopeful this is because they are ensuring a good outcome for our local community and residents,” Cr Long said.

“We are yet to see any compelling evidence that demonstrates that there is a need for this facility and even if need can be demonstrated, the Council does not believe that the proposed location is the right location for a camp for the next 30 years.”

“Additionally, the designs and plan that the City had been shown for the facility are underwhelming and not in keeping with the Council's vision for the future of the City.”

It is likely the State Government will let us know their decision on Woodside’s Bay Village proposal in the next month.

The City of Karratha will continue to work with the State Government and Woodside to ensure the best outcome for the community as discussions continue.

Cossack Art Awards Residency announced

Local Dampier artist, Monty Montgomery, will take up residence at Cossack for four weeks as part of the 2018 Cossack Art Awards.

The prestigious Artist in Residence program is sponsored by the Awards principal partner, Rio Tinto, and provides an opportunity for a selected artist to immerse themselves in the unique environment of Cossack.

During her time in residence, Ms Montgomery will be available for a series of public events and produce a body of work inspired by the Pilbara.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Cossack Art Awards provided an incredible experience for local artists and attracted entrants from right across Australia.

“Our annual Cossack Art Awards allow us to showcase our exceedingly talented local artists alongside works from all over Australia. In addition to this, through the generous support of our business community, we are able to shine a national spotlight on the region and promote the Cossack area as an artistic hub right here in the North West,” Cr Long said.

“The Artist in Residence program is an opportunity for an exceptional artist to live among the history and beauty of Cossack, allowing them to focus on their creativity full time. It is a sought-after experience and I congratulate Monty on receiving the 2018 prize,” he said.

Rio Tinto General Manager Ports Dampier Jess Farrell said Rio Tinto is proud to be the Principal Partner of the 2018 Cossack Art Awards, a partnership the company has supported for 26 years.

“The Artist in Residence program is a vital component to the success of the overall event which does a fantastic job in showcasing local talent,” Ms Farrell said.

Artwork entries for the 26th annual Cossack Art Awards will open in mid-March with up to 300 works being accepted for exhibition.

Entries should be two dimensional, by artists who currently live in Australia and all pieces must be completed at the time of entry.

Winners will be announced at the Cossack Art Awards gala awards presentation on July 21, 2018.

More information is available at with updates and event news on the Cossack Art Awards Facebook page.

Carpark upgrade at Point Samson foreshore

A carpark upgrade along Point Samson foreshore will get underway next month with Council awarding the construction tender for the project at last night’s Council meeting.

Local Wickham-based company, Norwest Sand & Gravel, will carry out the redevelopment of the Point Samson Community Hall carpark to support extensive revitalisation works planned for the area.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the carpark redevelopment would allow rehabilitation of the adjacent dune and supported a number of foreshore revitalisation projects planned in Point Samson.

“The carpark as it currently sits is having a negative impact on the nearby dunes and these redevelopment works will include the fencing and revegetation of the area to help protect it from future erosion,” Cr Long said.

“Works will also see the demolition and re-asphalting of the carpark surface, formalisation of drainage and the construction of a pathway from the carpark down to the beach,” he said.

“Our work at Point Samson is focused on enhancing the level of amenity for the local community and visitors and protecting the natural environment. We’ve been working closely with the Point Samson Community Association to ensure we are providing the best environmental and recreational outcomes for everyone involved.”

“We are very excited to be bringing a viewing platform and jetty to the foreshore, together with the PCA and Rio Tinto, and this car park will support these larger infrastructure works as they take shape over the next few years.”

The upgrade project is set to begin in March and the carpark will be closed while work is carried out. Alternative parking and access to the community hall will available via Millers Close until the project’s completion in May.

Access for the Point Samson bush fire brigade will be maintained for the majority of the project and other arrangements will be made in advance should they be required.

Take-off dates closer for Brisbane, Singapore

Flights between Karratha, Brisbane and Singapore will soon be available for purchase with proposed dates for commencement of the service confirmed.

Discussions between service operator, Jetgo, and the City of Karratha will see the Brisbane service beginning in June and Singapore service to follow in September.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Council is working closely with Jetgo to ensure all regulatory requirements are met so that flight services can begin as indicated.

“The implementation of a domestic and international leg out of Karratha Airport is a very exciting opportunity for our economy and Council is looking forward to seeing these flights get off the ground this year,” Cr Long said.

“While the commencement dates are subject to regulatory approvals, we are working with Jetgo to ensure that this process is as smooth as possible and that the new services meet all industry requirements.”

“Jetgo and the City will release flight schedules and pricing once regulatory approvals have been gained. At this stage we anticipate domestic fares will be available to purchase from early March with international fares to follow shortly after.”

Service operator Jetgo has also announced an upgrade of the plane that will fly the Brisbane-Karratha-Singapore routes, moving from an 88 seat Embraer E175 to the larger 98 seat Embraer E190 aircraft that is able to fly directly from Karratha to Brisbane without a stop in Alice Springs.

Cr Long welcomed the decision and said the change would result in an improved service for passengers.

“The larger aircraft type comes with higher specification for passengers and additional seating capacity as well as a reduction in flight times between destinations, further improving the experience we can offer passengers,” Cr Long said.

Terminal modifications at Karratha Airport will be required to service the international flight to and from Singapore and these are scheduled for completion prior to August, 2018.


Australia Day highlights city’s finest

Australia Day festivities began with a celebration of community champions in the City of Karratha at the annual Australia Day Awards breakfast.

Twenty nominations were received across six awards categories with winners announced at the celebration event, hosted by the City of Karratha and supported by Rio Tinto, Horizon Power, Woodside and the North West Shelf Project joint venture participants.

Tammy Tennant was named the 2018 Citizen of the Year for outstanding community involvement through her impressive volunteer commitments, in support of local schools and sports groups.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Awards provided opportunity to thank those members of our community who are seen as leaders among their peers and congratulated all nominees.

“These grass-roots heroes are the fabric of our community and I am very proud to be able to recognise each of them at our City of Karratha Australia Day Awards,” Cr Long said.

“Congratulations to all of our nominees and to our Australia Day Award winners. It is inspiring to see so many wonderful people in our community giving freely of their time and effort to improve the experiences of others,” he said.

“Our program of Australia Day celebrations is a highlight on the local events calendar and in addition to this morning’s awards breakfast, today we also welcome nearly 40 new citizens into our community in a special Australia Day ceremony. This evening, we wrap up the day with a free, family evening of true blue Aussie fun on the Karratha Leisureplex oval and all are welcome to attend.”


Rio Tinto General Manager Rail Maintenance, Matt Baartz:

“On behalf of Rio Tinto I would like to thank and congratulate all the winners and nominees for this year’s City of Karratha Australia Day Awards, along with their nominators. Volunteers are the glue that holds our Pilbara towns together and makes our communities great places to live and work.  It’s wonderful to have a platform such as these Awards to recognise and celebrate their contributions.”


Horizon Power Manager Pilbara Retail and Generation, Evette Smeathers:

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s City of Karratha Australia Day Awards and well done to all of the nominees.  With these amazing people constantly working to better our community, it’s no wonder this is such a great place to live.  The 2018 Citizen of the Year, Tammy Tennant, is a very deserving winner of this prestigious award and since moving to Karratha has contributed her time to a wide variety of activities within the community.  Thank you Tammy for your commitment to the City of Karratha community over the years and congratulations again.“


Woodside’s Asset Manager at the Karratha Gas Plant, Andrew Lobb:

“Woodside and its fellow joint venture participants in the North West Shelf Project have proudly supported the City of Karratha’s annual Australia Day Awards since 2012. The Australia Day awards recognise what’s great about our community and recipients embody the spirit which makes Karratha a wonderful place to live and work.”


The 2018 Australia Day Award winners are:

Citizen of the Year – Tammy Tennant
Presented by Horizon Power
For nearly a quarter of a century, Tammy has been an integral part of many local community groups, working tirelessly to ensure they operate efficiently and effectively.  She has been closely involved with the Baynton West Primary School P&C, the Karratha BMX Club, the Karratha-Dampier Tee-Ball Association, the West Pilbara Softball Organisation plus cricket, football, social club and other P&C organisations.  Tammy has spent long hours, month after month, year after year to support these clubs and is awarded the 2018 Citizen of the Year for her incredible commitment to our community.

Young Citizen of the Year – Navyaa Shukla
Presented by Woodside
Navyaa is a role model for her peers, contributing to local community through volunteer work with a range of organisations alongside academic achievements. She is also a strong advocate for young women and the recipient of the Leeuwin scholarship in 2017.

Community Service – Graeme Wilkes
Presented by Rio Tinto

Graeme has been awarded the Community Service Award for his selfless support of many community groups and events, in particular his commitment to the Karratha Bowls Club.  A self-employed small businessman, Graeme contributes to many charities including our Seniors, Police Legacy, the Jockey Club and many others.  With his wife, Mel, Graeme’s tireless work has ensured the continuation and success of the Bowls Club, while his etiquette, sportsmanship, honesty and integrity is an inspiration for others.

Environmental Award – Dan Pedersen
Presented by the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project

Dan is passionate about the environment, consistently giving his time and sharing his expertise over many environmental projects and causes throughout the City of Karratha, including ‘Communities Against Rubbish and Environment’ (of which he founded and chaired) and the Bucks for Bags program.

Community Spirit – Gary and Glen Slee
Presented by Rio Tinto

Both Gary and Glen have been integral to the growth of our community over the last 35 years and their work to grow and support local groups such as the Karratha Community Garden and Karratha Rotary Club will leave a lasting impression for many years to come.

Event/Activity of the Year – Karratha Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service Santa Lolly Run
Presented by Rio Tinto

The annual Karratha Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service Santa Lolly Run is a highlight on the Christmas calendar and it takes an enormous amount of effort to carry out each year. More than 400 volunteer hours going into the preparation and execution of the event. All of this is done in addition to the work the brigade must do to train and respond to emergency call outs.

Camp land tenure not in line with Council vision

Council has reaffirmed its position on transient workforce accommodation, objecting to a proposal which could extend the life of temporary accommodation at Searipple Village. 

Fleetwood Corporation has applied to the State Government for permanent ownership over a portion of land on the site which is currently under a temporary lease arrangement to 2022.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said granting freehold title over this land could lead to an additional 800 rooms being used for long-term transient workforce accommodation.

“The accommodation at Searipple Village, which is currently on State Government leasehold land, was built as an interim measure to meet the short-term spikes in demand during the mining construction boom.  It was never intended as a long-term accommodation solution.”

“We have developed a high level of amenity in our towns and residents now have access to a good range of community facilities, health and education services. Where possible we want to encourage workforces to support residential arrangements which help to build our City and community.”

“Demand for short-term workforce accommodation has dropped significantly since these types of facilities were built and evidence suggests there is enough supply in the market to meet the demand for construction and maintenance peak periods.”

“If Searipple Village is entirely freehold, then it may lead to a position where additional accommodation is used for long-term baseload supply. This is against Council’s established position and vision to reduce transient workforce accommodation in favour of permanent residential dwellings.”

The City of Karratha will respond to the State Government Department of Lands, objecting to the granting of freehold tenure.

Great view at Point Samson

New views are on the horizon for Point Samson with Council signing off on the final design for an elevated viewing structure at Monday night’s Council meeting.

Council opted to fund the longer of two design options based on that it would deliver a better outcome for the community.

Tenders will now be called for the estimated $1.2million project, which will extend 70 metres in length and finish with a 40 square metre viewing platform and shade shelter.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Council had worked closely with the Point Samson Community Association on this project and the viewing platform had been designed to have the same look and feel as the original jetty.

“This is a really important project for the City and the Point Samson Community Association have been a driving force in getting it off the ground. Council and the PSCA have worked together to come up with a final viewing platform design that meets with community desires and we are excited to see it get underway,” Cr Long said.

“Our final design reflects the history of the precinct with the viewing platform essentially sitting over the original jetty site and even imitating some aspects, including painting all steel elements white and decking reminiscent of wooden boards,” he said.

This development forms part of Council’s work to rejuvenate the Point Samson Foreshore under the Point Samson Foreshore Management Plan. The proposed second stage of this project is a jetty that extends 150m out over the water, ending with a fishing platform however funding is yet to be allocated for this component.

Jam-packed Australia Day

The City of Karratha is gearing up for a big Australia Day with a host of activities planned to recognise community champions, welcome new citizens to the community and celebrate our great nation.

Festivities are set to kick off in the morning with an Australia Day Awards ceremony recognising community champions for their hard work and contribution to the City. Friends and families of the nominees will also celebrate the announcement of the Event/Activity of the Year and the crowning the Citizen of the Year during the prestigious awards ceremony.

Nearly 40 people will become Australian Citizens at the annual Australia Day citizenship ceremony following the Australia Day Awards at the Karratha Leisureplex.

Community celebrations will continue throughout the day with an Aussie Outback Sundowner full of free family fun from 5pm at the Karratha Leisureplex Oval including a monster truck demonstration featuring Shattered Silence, live music, a BBQ competition, a live broadcast with Spirit Radio, food options as well as a range of games and activities for the kids.

To cap off a fantastic day of celebrations a massive display of fireworks will be launched from the Leisureplex Oval at 7.30pm.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Australia Day is a chance to get together with friends and family and celebrate our wonderful country.

“Australia Day is a time for us to reflect on who we are as a community and celebrate our achievements as a nation. It is a time for us to come together with friends and family and recognise those who have made outstanding contributions to our community and acknowledge their hard work,” he said.

“It is also a great time for us to make new friends and welcome Australia’s newest citizens to our country and community. And, of course, it’s not Australia Day without a true blue BBQ and fireworks display. I’m looking forward to another full day of festivities and celebrating with friends and our great community again this Australia Day,” he added.

The annual City of Karratha Australia Day Awards are supported by Rio Tinto, Horizon Power and the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project. The Aussie Day Outback Sundowner is proudly presented by the City of Karratha with sponsors Rio Tinto, Coates Hire, Karratha Pick-A-Part Motor Wreckers, Karratha Smash Repairs, Cleanaway and Nielsen Liquid Waste Services.

Rio Tinto GM Rail Maintenance Matt Baartz said Rio Tinto is proud to support the Australia Day celebrations again this year.

“Rio Tinto is once again proud to support the 2018 Australia Day Awards and Celebrations taking place locally in partnership with the City of Karratha,” Mr Baartz said.

Aussie Day Outback Sundowner activities will take place at the Karratha Leisureplex Oval on Friday 26 January 2018 from 5pm:

  • Shattered Silence monster truck is set to perform two shows on the oval, jumping over sets of cars, with the first show scheduled for 5.30pmand a second demonstration at 6.45pm (subject to change). Drivers will also be available for a meet and greet and autographs at the Youth Services marquee.
  • Activities include; a zinc face painting competition, a youth chill out zone, oversized games of croquet and Connect4, and more!
  • A BBQ Competition will kick off around 7pm with entrants chosen on the night
  • Food options will include a sausage sizzle fundraiser by the Dampier Volunteer Fire and Rescue, the Great Aussie Bakery by Bushlolly, NW Coffee, Yo-Get-It, and Dee Cee’s Ice Cream or you’re welcome to BYO picnic
  • A firework display will commence at 7.30pm from the Leisureplex Oval. The best viewing points this year will be from the oval. Pet owners in the area are advised to keep their animals somewhere safe and secure with their registration, ID tags, and contact details.

For more information about the Australia Day Awards and Sundowner visit

Karratha community rejects camp proposal

City of Karratha residents have overwhelmingly rejected a Woodside proposal to build a 700-bed camp for its workers, including long-term operational staff.

A recent survey of 750 people found that 78 per cent of respondents did not agree that there was a need for the camp, while 80 per cent said that where possible operational workers should be accommodated residentially in town based dwellings.

The survey follows a report produced late last year by the Karratha Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KDCCI) that found that the current proposal would lead to a net loss of 69 local jobs, $4.8 million in local incomes and take $6.6 million per year from the local economy.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said it was clear that Woodside was out of touch with community expectations and that the current proposal would jeopardise local jobs and the economy.

“We understand that some short-term accommodation may be necessary during construction periods and maintenance shut-downs, but we believe there is sufficient supply in the current market to support this activity, and the community agrees, with the majority of survey respondents questioning the need for an additional camp,” Cr Long said.

“It’s abundantly clear that City of Karratha residents want Woodside employees and their contractors to be based locally.  The current proposal seeks to ingrain FIFO for day-to-day operational activities for at least the next 15 years which is completely out of sync with both the Council and the community’s expectations.”

Karratha Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry former President and incoming Chief Executive Officer Kylah Morrison said the KDCCI board supports Council’s position.

“We are sceptical about Woodside’s claims that this proposal will deliver good outcomes for local businesses. Previous experience with modular construction has resulted in very little employment for Karratha construction companies,” Mrs Morrison said.

“Historically, the operational workforce for Woodside’s camp contractor Compass is FIFO which the report shows would result in a loss of approximately 70 positions that are currently provided by existing local employees. While Woodside have indicated a commitment to local employment and procurement, the economic impact and community benefit would be much greater if the workforce was based residentially.”

The State Government is currently considering whether or not it will grant Woodside a 30-year lease for the Bay Village site in Karratha which would enable construction of the camp to take place.

The City is continuing to discuss the matter with the Minister for Planning and Lands Rita Saffioti and senior Woodside executives to see if a more suitable solution, which would provide better outcomes for the local community, can be found.

To read the survey results in full click here.

Wickham Hub gets underway

Construction is underway on a $16 million new community hub in Wickham with the first sod of soil turned on site this week.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long was Joined by Rio Tinto Iron Ore General Manager Ports Cape Lambert Jamie Robinson and local community groups for the occasion.

The project which is jointly funding by the City of Karratha, Rio Tinto and Lotterywest will include a brand new library, additional childcare and playgroup spaces, youth centre including skate park, water playground and office spaces for community groups.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the project has been a long time in the making but is delighted that the residents of Wickham and surrounding communities of Point Samson and Roebourne, will soon see this facility start taking shape.

“We have worked hard with Rio Tinto and the local community to get to this point. It has not been without its hurdles but I am delighted that by working closely together towards a shared vision for this community that we are now ready to commence construction on this project,” Cr Long said.

“In the coming months the community will start to see all of our discussions and hard work come to life. I know the excitement around town has been building and the community is certainly eager to see this building start taking shape.”

“As we have seen with the success of the Dampier Community Hub, facilities like this can be game changers for regional communities, providing real job opportunities through construction and operation, and providing an enhanced level facilities and services for residents,” he added.

Construction of the Wickham Community Hub is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2018.

  Left: Jamie Robinson, General Manager Ports Cape Lambert Centre: Peter Long, Mayor City of Karratha Right: Rev Richard Goscombe, WCH Reference Group

Left: Jamie Robinson, General Manager Ports Cape Lambert
Centre: Peter Long, Mayor City of Karratha
Right: Rev Richard Goscombe, WCH Reference Group

City of Karratha secures international and East Coast flights

A new regular flight service connecting the City of Karratha with Singapore and Brisbane will be available from mid-2018 following a Council decision to enter an agreement with Jetgo Australia.

Under the agreement Jetgo would operate regular passenger transport services twice weekly to Singapore and also twice weekly to Brisbane.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said new service could commence by mid-2018, subject to regulatory approvals and mandatory modifications to the airport terminal. 

“This is an extremely exciting time for the City of Karratha and Karratha Airport passengers who will soon be able to fly directly to Asia and the East Coast with the introduction of this new service.”

“We consistently receive feedback from the community that they want international and interstate connectivity from Karratha Airport and we have been working hard to secure additional route options.”

“In a recent online survey conducted by the City, of more than 1,000 people, 96 per cent of respondents said they would take advantage of a direct service to Singapore.”

“This new service is a fantastic opportunity to market our region to an international and interstate audience with the potential of stimulating economic activity and aiding in the development of the local tourism industry.”

“We will now move into the next stage of making this service a reality which includes undertaking some terminal modifications required by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and securing the necessary regulatory approvals,” he added.

Jetgo Managing Director Paul Bredereck said the Brisbane-Karratha-Singapore service offered new niche opportunities for the airline.

“The agreement with the City of Karratha would underpin Jetgo moving up from its current fleet of Embraer ERJ regional jets in the 37 to 50 seat market segment to the larger 88 seat Embraer E175.  This is a logical step for our business and builds on five and a half years of jet operations, including domestic airline services along with domestic and international jet charter services.”

“We have selected the Embraer E175 due to a combination of size, payload-range, cargo capacity, economics and the ready supply of local expertise due to existing E-170 and E-190 operators in Australia. It also builds upon an already strong relationship between Jetgo and Embraer.”

“Jetgo is very much looking forward to developing this partnership with the City of Karratha at a time the mining industry is showing strong signs of recovery."

Further details about the service including scheduling and ticket prices will be released in the coming months.

REFAP Inspiring Creative Talents


The Lead the Way activity centre is benefitting from the creative talents of its participants, with several bright and colourful paintings now on display.

Around 15 ladies attend the Community Development Program’s Lead the Way activity, where they have the opportunity to learn various hands-on, creative skills. All painting and art supplies are provided by REFAP, and the participants enjoy working on their pieces and learning from each other.

Activity Supervisor, Sarai Cedar, is amazed by the ladies’ beautiful paintings, and their natural, hidden talents.

“These ladies have never been to art school; their knowledge and skills have been passed down from their Elders,” she said.

“I studied art at TAFE, and I am constantly learning from them,” she said. “They understand how to choose colours to reflect the land, and they tell stories of their lives and themselves in their paintings.”

Sarai is encouraging the ladies to consider the commercial opportunities for their paintings. “The ladies in the Lead the Way activity are very talented and skilful,” she said. “I tell them that they don’t need to have formal qualifications in order to sell their paintings, and some of them are excited by that.”


One of the artists, Natasha Todd, only took up painting recently, and said she feels proud to see her work on display at the activity centre.

“I paint mostly bush animals, and I really enjoy seeing the paintings come together,” she said. “Hopefully I will be able to sell some of my work in the future.”

REFAP Smoothing the Road in Roebourne


Visitors to the Roebourne Resource Centre are now assured of a smoother ride thanks to work done on the entrance driveway by REFAP’s Community Pride participants.

The driveway was in poor condition with many holes and uneven sections that had developed over years of frequent use.

REFAP’s Community Pride supervisor, Wayne Breen noticed the need for repairs and realised an opportunity for the participants to help.

At no cost to the Resource Centre, the team applied filling and compacted it in to remove the holes and improve the driveway’s functionality and aesthetics.

The Resource Centre manager, Beth Smith is grateful for the assistance and pleased with the results.

“The road was in a poor state for a long time,” she said. “It’s great that the REFAP participants have taken the initiative to make the improvements.”


The Roebourne Resource Centre is a not-for-profit organisation that is independently owned and operated by the local community. It provides access to government and community services and information, and undertakes community, business and economic development activities.

REFAP also occupies two of the buildings in this space, for the RSAS (Remote School Attendance Strategy) Program, and the Lead the Way activity.