The City of Karratha Council is calling on Woodside and the State Government to rethink a proposal to build a new 700 bed FIFO camp on the outskirts of Karratha.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said that Council considered the proposal to be short sighted and that the State Government should intervene to ensure that an appropriate alternative solution can be found.
“The Council is not convinced that there is a need for a new FIFO camp, in particular one of that size, and does not support the notion that FIFO camps are part of our future for the next 30 years”, Cr Long said.
“Building a camp on the outskirts of town for long-term operational workers is old school thinking as it reinforces an “us-and-them” mentality and we consider this is not in the best interests of the community,” Cr Long said.
“While Council acknowledges that Transient Workforce Accommodation is currently necessary during short-term construction periods and maintenance shut-downs, its strong preference is for long-term operational workers to be based residentially as part of the community. Woodside’s proposal is in direct opposition to that position indicating that 250 Woodside operational roles will be based in this camp for at least the next 10-15-years.”
“There has been substantial investment in making Karratha a much more appealing place to live. We now know that employing locally is cheaper than FIFO and that it is much easier to attract and retain staff so we’re struggling to understand why Woodside seems so committed to FIFO for such a long time.”
“While Council acknowledges that some short-term accommodation may be required to support Woodside’s expansion and maintenance projects, we believe there is sufficient supply in the current market to support this activity and the request for a 30-year lease to build another FIFO camp is not in line with Council’s vision for a cohesive, inclusive and sustainable community.”
“The City’s TWA policy indicates that where operational FIFO is absolutely necessary, these workers should be town-based with the expectation that the accommodation be of a high standard and suitably integrated into the surrounding neighbourhood.”
“If a camp is required, there are a number of other more suitable sites throughout Karratha that would provide far more acceptable integration with the local community and justify a longer term lease approval.”
“Despite Council presenting these options to Woodside and voicing strong concerns about the existing proposal, Woodside is still pursuing the redevelopment of Bay Village.”
“We are asking Woodside to listen to its stakeholders, rethink this proposal and do the right thing by the community from which it makes its money from.” he added.
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