Innovation hub could create jobs and boost local economy by millions

Establishing an eco-business park for innovative emerging industries has the potential to create more than 400 jobs and inject more than $200 million into the local economy, a report has found.

The proposed Eco Hub development involves 131ha of land adjacent to Karratha Airport dedicated to renewable enterprises with the aim of attracting new industries and diversifying the local economy.

A business case funded by the City that assessed the economic impact and return on investment of establishing the Eco Hub and reviewed the City’s role in the development was presented to Council this month.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said financial modelling found the project could create up to 406 jobs, contribute $241 million to the local economy and increase the Gross Regional Product by nearly $104 million.

“A number of high-tech renewable enterprises are looking to set up in Karratha so Council is investigating opportunities to create a collocated precinct to make this commercially viable for the proponents,” Cr Long said.

“Council’s role would be to facilitate the development by providing access to the land and basic infrastructure, such as roads and utilities.

“This development aligns with the City’s Strategic Community Plan, which aims to attract diverse and sustainable business and employment opportunities.”

The business case recommended the City purchase the full site and lease lots to prospective proponents, which include the Sahara Forest Project (SFP).

SFP completed a feasibility study last year that showed an intensive agriculture industry could be commercially viable and sustainable to establish in Karratha.

The next step is to explore options to move forward with the Eco Hub project in a financially sustainable way.

Council will consider a budget allocation to progress the Eco Hub project in the 2019/20 budget.

Proposed rate model released for 2019/20

Council’s proposed differential rate model will deliver new facilities and enhanced community services during 2019/20.

The model proposes a modest increase of two per cent, which is lower than the 2.1 per cent increase identified in the City’s Long Term Financial Plan.

If implemented, this would be the fourth consecutive year the City has introduced a rates increase below the Australian Consumer Price Index.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the proposed model meets the anticipated revenue requirements while responding to changing economic conditions.

“Council’s annual community survey demonstrates that while the community is happy with the City’s performance, they would like to see more and better services delivered by the City,” Cr Long said. 

“The proposed rating model would meet the anticipated rise in revenue requirements, which includes the maintenance of new facilities such as the Red Earth Arts Precinct, Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre, Wickham Community Hub, Balyarra Parkway and Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval foreshore redevelopment,” Cr Long said.

“Council has worked hard to reduce its reliance on rates, with the majority of its funding sourced from government grants, the private sector, fees and charges.

“Despite the significant increases in operating expenditure to maintain facilities and deliver enhanced services, the overall funding required from rates is on par with previous years.”

The proposed rating model will generate $41.5 million or approximately one third of the City’s total funding required for 2019/20.

The City will now seek public feedback on the proposed model with a final decision made in May.

Sets under the stars to kick off WA’s biggest celebration of young people

Hundreds of youth atended the City of Karratha's WA Youth Week Colour Fest event in 2017.  Picture: City of Karratha

Hundreds of youth atended the City of Karratha's WA Youth Week Colour Fest event in 2017. Picture: City of Karratha

A beachside concert featuring an internationally-renowned DJ will headline the City of Karratha’s WA Youth Week festivities for 2019.

Covechella Youth Festival will be the highlight of a jam-packed program for 11-25 year olds in Karratha, Dampier, Roebourne and Wickham during WA Youth Week and continuing throughout the school holidays.

WA Youth Week is an annual state-wide celebration of the positive contributions of young people to their communities. It runs from April 13-20 this year and provides young people with the opportunity to express their ideas and raise issues.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the local program coincided with more than 100 events held across WA under the theme ‘Nurture the Now.’

“This year’s theme encourages young people to affirm their potential for positive impact during their development and to validate their achievements,” Cr Long said.

“Council understands youth services is a priority area for our community and we are proud to provide a wealth of diverse programs, activities and events for young people to enjoy across the City.

“By actively engaging the views of our young people, the City continues to increase our level of service for our future leaders and explore opportunities to do more in this space.

“I encourage young people to get along to one of the many events on offer from tomorrow and throughout April.”

Covechella Youth Festival will take place at Shark Cage Beach in Dampier from 5-9pm on Saturday, April 13. It is a free event for 11-25 year olds featuring a showcase of live performances from local young musicians, a two-hour DJ set by Brisbane-based DJ Noiz, stalls including a henna hut and glitter gazebo, with food and drinks available for sale. Free supervised transport will be provided from multiple stops across all City of Karratha townships. To see the bus timetable, visit the Covechella Facebook event, @kcityteens on Instagram or email

Additional activities include a spin the decks session with DJ Noiz tonight at The Youth Shed, three-on-three basketball competitions, dodgeball tournaments, arts projects, Birds of Prey interactive displays, stand-up paddle boarding at Hearson Cove, an aqua run at Karratha Leisureplex, bake off, movie screenings and dance party. View the full program here.

For more information about events, please contact City of Karratha Youth Services Coordinator Chrystal Ashby on 0408 389 970 or email

Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment set to break ground

The Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment is set to break ground in May.

The Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment is set to break ground in May.

The tender for a multimillion-dollar redevelopment that will transform the Dampier foreshore was awarded this month.

Council nominated Georgiou Group as the preferred tenderer at the March Council meeting, with the contract now finalised.

Georgiou Group is the civil and building construction company behind the $50 million Scarborough Beach redevelopment, which earned them the 2018 Urban Development Institute of Australia Award for Excellence in Government and Public Use.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said all tenders received for the $10.3 million project exceeded the budget.

“Council endorsed the additional $3.3 million required to progress this significant project to be sourced from the 2019-2020 budget,” Cr Long said.

“This brings the City’s contribution to $9.6 million, with Rio Tinto contributing $2.5 million and Lotterywest contributing $1.5 million.

“This ambitious redevelopment continues Council’s work improving foreshores so our towns offer attractive coastal experiences for residents and visitors and it is important to keep the momentum moving.

“It will be a game changer for the Dampier community and I look forward to works commencing in May.”

In January, Council endorsed a historic agreement with Rio Tinto to transfer ownership of land along the foreshore and Hampton Oval, which was required to progress the project.

The Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment is anticipated to be complete by the end of the year.

Works to refurbish the pavilion at Hampton Oval are currently underway by contractor Mitie Construction.

These works are expected to take approximately 10 weeks and include significant modifications to the building. There may be some disruption to oval, beach and car park users during construction.

For more information, please visit

Community shares priorities with Council

The 2019 City of Karratha Community Survey is complete.

The 2019 City of Karratha Community Survey is complete.

The 2019 City of Karratha Community Survey is complete with feedback from residents highlighting key priorities for Council moving forward.

The annual survey invites residents to rate the overall performance of the City across 26 services areas during the past year, and rank priorities for the City during the following year.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the City received some of the highest scores since the survey commenced in 2012.

“The City recorded an overall satisfaction score of 75 per cent, which is an increase compared to 73 per cent in 2018 and 70 per cent in 2017 and our highest yet,” Cr Long said.

“This is very pleasing because it indicates the community feels Council is moving in the right direction and providing services and facilities that meet community expectations.”

“Of the 1430 responses received, 88.3 per cent of people rate the City is an average or above place to live, with 63.6 per cent saying it’s good or excellent. Nearly half the respondents rating the City as a better or much better place to live compared to 12 months ago, which is a 7.5 per cent improvement from last year’s results.”

“Another highlight is the increased number of residents who have no plans to leave the City of Karratha. Back in 2011, this figure was 14 per cent but today we have climbed to 41.9 per cent.”

“Rest assured, Council is always looking for ways to improve and we will keep assessing our performance across the board and strive to close any gaps in the services we provide.”

Further analysis of results found an upward trend in community satisfaction for the majority of the 26 Council services that the City seeks feedback on.

The best things about living in the City were identified as:
1. Natural environment
2. Leisure, recreation and entertainment
3. Sense of community

Areas of concern were:
1. Cost of living
2. Safety and security
3. Retail offerings

The top three Council services that exceeded community expectations were:
1. Dog and cat control
2. Libraries
3. Wickham Recreation Precinct

The services where satisfaction was lowest compared to community expectations were:
1. Illegal dumping
2. Financial responsibility
3. Airport services

These survey results will be used to inform budget planning and resource allocation for the next financial year.

Full results can be viewed at

Remote residency to inspire 2019 Cossack Art Awards artist-in-residence

Award-winning Fremantle illustrator Ross Potter works on his life-sized sketch of Perth Zoo’s Asian elephant Tricia as part of the Fremantle Arts Centre exhibition Animaze – Amazing Animals for Kids in 2018. Supplied by Ross Potter

Award-winning Fremantle illustrator Ross Potter works on his life-sized sketch of Perth Zoo’s Asian elephant Tricia as part of the Fremantle Arts Centre exhibition Animaze – Amazing Animals for Kids in 2018. Supplied by Ross Potter

Award-winning Fremantle illustrator Ross Potter will take up residence in the carefully maintained remnants of one of WA’s earliest settlements as part of the 2019 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 and inspiring surrounds of the historic settlement.

Mr Potter is a well-regarded artist and two-time finalist for the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, which is considered Western Australia’s version of the Archibald Prize. Last year, he won the City of Melville Art Award drawing award, the Joondalup Community Art Award for works on paper, and was a finalist for the Busselton Art Award and Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award.

Mr Potter has an interest in capturing the heritage of buildings and has exhibited his graphite on paper works as part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival and a National Trust of Australia WA touring exhibition.

In July, Mr Potter will relocate to the heritage-listed colonial pearling settlement for four weeks to produce a series of artworks inspired by his experience living among some of the oldest buildings in WA with a rich multicultural history.

As artist-in-residence, he will also facilitate a series of workshops as part of the public program of events on offer each year during the Cossack Art Awards.

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

“The annual Cossack Art Awards allow us to showcase our talented local artists alongside works submitted from across the nation,” Cr Long said.

“Through the generous support of our business community, we are also able to shine a spotlight on the Pilbara and promote Cossack as an artistic hub. The artist-in-residence program is an opportunity for an artist to focus on their creativity and I look forward to seeing what Mr Potter produces during his time at Cossack.”

Rio Tinto General Manager Ports Dampier Tim McDougall said Rio Tinto has been a proud sponsor of the awards since 1993.

“We’re committed to promoting arts and culture in the Pilbara region and are very excited to see what Mr Potter produces during his time as artist-in-residence,” Mr McDougall said.

Entries to the 27th Cossack Art Awards are now open, with up to 300 works accepted for exhibition.

Winners will be announced at the Cossack Art Awards gala on Saturday, July 20.

The public exhibition and program runs from Sunday, July 21 to Sunday, August 11. More information is available at and the Cossack Art Awards Facebook page.

City welcomes funding commitment to seal Karratha-Tom Price Road

Sealing the Karratha-Tom Price Road will generate substantial economic and social benefits for the entire Pilbara region.

Sealing the Karratha-Tom Price Road will generate substantial economic and social benefits for the entire Pilbara region.

The City of Karratha has welcomed the Federal Government’s pre-election commitment of $248 million to seal Karratha-Tom Price Road.

The funding allocation was announced today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as part of a $1.6 billion infrastructure package for Western Australia.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long congratulated the Federal Government for their commitment to the road, which has been a priority for Council for many years.

“It is pleasing to see the Liberal Party of Australia acknowledge the Karratha–Tom Price Road is of strategic importance for Western Australia and commit to sealing the full length of the road,” Cr Long said.

“The condition of the road is very poor and sealing it will generate substantial economic and social benefits for the entire Pilbara region. These include improving travel times and access to healthcare for remote inland communities, enhancing flood resilience, and unlocking opportunities for our tourism and mining sectors.

“Council would like to thank the WA State Government for their strong advocacy on this issue and their commitment of $50 million towards the project, and we call on the Australian Labor Party to make a similar commitment to fund this vital regional infrastructure upgrade.”

Tenders for the construction of Stage 3, which includes the section of road from Karratha to Millstream Chichester National Park, are expected to be released by the end of March.

City of Karratha and Woodside extend agreement to benefit community

The partnership funds NAIDOC Week events.

The partnership funds NAIDOC Week events.

A three-year social investment agreement between the City of Karratha and the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project has recently been extended for another year.

During the period of the agreement, the City and North West Shelf Project worked together to achieve significant community outcomes. This includes around $300,000 since 2016 awarded to more than 150 community and sporting groups through the Quarterly Grants Scheme.

In addition, the City and North West Shelf Project have improved the youth services program, with nearly 5000 young people attending The Youth Shed to participate in a diverse range of activities and programs last financial year.

The City and North West Shelf Project have helped create safe, healthy and liveable communities through the Safer Communities Partnership, which delivers initiatives focused on reducing crime and antisocial behaviour.

The partnership delivered a vibrant and inclusive Australia Day celebration and annual citizenship awards in 2019. Woodside will also continue its funding of NAIDOC Week events this year.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said he was pleased to extend the agreements with Woodside and the North West Shelf venture for 2019, valued at a total of $341,000.

“These agreements secure funding to continue engaging with and entertaining local youth, working with police, government agencies and stakeholders to improve safety through our Safer Communities Partnership and continue to delivering community events that foster a sense of belonging,” Cr Long said.

“As Woodside complete their planning for the Scarborough and Browse projects, the City will continue to collaborate on meaningful social investment to provide more benefits to the community.”

Woodside Karratha Gas Plant Manager Andrew Lobb said Woodside is proud to have supported youth, education and safety outcomes across the City.

“We’ll continue to collaborate with our community partners and joint venture participants as we progress our Burrup hub growth plans,” Mr Lobb said.

“It’s a core value for Woodside that we are active members of the community.”

Airfare sales on the rise

Karratha Airport. Credit: City of Karratha

Karratha Airport. Credit: City of Karratha

The City of Karratha continues to work with the airlines that service Karratha Airport to reduce the cost of flights for residents and visitors.

Already this year Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia Airlines have offered a number of sales on flights to and from Karratha, including this week.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said it was pleasing to see airlines responding to community demand for affordable flights and introducing more regular airfare sales.

“Council has been proactively working to facilitate the provision of intraregional, interstate and international services from Karratha Airport to improve the liveability of our community,” Cr Long said.

“The City also continues to advocate to the State Government for improved connectivity for travelers to experience our unique and under-rated tourism experiences.”

Cr Long encouraged residents to subscribe to Qantas’ discounted residents’ fares program, and to Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia Airlines mailing lists to receive alerts about current and upcoming airfare sales.

For more information, please visit the Karratha Airport website at

Basketball, bouncy castle and birthday cake to celebrate milestone

The City of Karratha's Youth Shed and Indoor Play Centre are celebrating seven years this weekend. Picture: Stock image

The City of Karratha's Youth Shed and Indoor Play Centre are celebrating seven years this weekend. Picture: Stock image

The community is encouraged to help celebrate the City of Karratha’s Youth Shed and Indoor Play Centre’s upcoming seventh birthday, with a program of fun festivities on offer to mark the occasion.

The Indoor Play Centre, located within The Youth Shed facility on Hillview Road, is a family-friendly facility offering an air-conditioned children’s playground for infants to 12-year-olds and a café with a revamped menu for parents and grandparents.

Birthday celebrations will kick off at 9am and include a free petting zoo, face-painting, bouncy castle, birthday cake and roving entertainers. Normal admission fees apply.

The Youth Shed’s space for 11-18 year olds offers at least five free programs for young people each week, in addition to table tennis, pool, computers, gaming stations and a skate park.

Activities and entertainment at The Youth Shed to mark the special occasion include a mural art project, basketball tournament, barbecue, birthday cake and beats.

There will be competitions and prizes throughout the event, which starts at 1pm and finishes at 9pm.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the focus of youth services had evolved dramatically over recent years from drop-in recreational activities to providing leadership opportunities.

“Council understands youth services is a priority area for our community and we are proud to provide a wealth of diverse programs, activities and events for youth to enjoy across the City,” Cr Long said.

“By actively engaging the views of our young people, the City continues to increase our level of service and explore opportunities to do more to meet community need.

“This birthday is a great opportunity to celebrate our progress in this area so come down and enjoy the fun.”

For more information about the event, please contact the Indoor Play Centre on 9186 8647 or The Youth Shed on 9186 8687.

Direct freight link could halve transport costs for Pilbara businesses

Recent studies by the City of Karratha and Pilbara Development Commission have found the establishment of a direct maritime freight link could halve the cost of transporting goods to Pilbara based businesses.

The organisations worked in collaboration to independently fund two separate but related studies on freight into the Pilbara.

The combined findings of the reports identified that there is sufficient demand through cargo aggregation for new direct maritime freight links to major Asian trans-shipment ports.

If a direct freight service was established it could reduce freight costs by up to 50% and delivery times by up to 70%.

The lower costs would increase annual gross regional product (GRP) of the Pilbara by 1.14%, or $120 million per year.

Recycling, building products, machinery, industrial supplies and consumables are just some of many Pilbara freight categories that can benefit from direct services.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the City was committed to reducing costs for local businesses.

“The Pilbara is completely reliant on imported goods of every kind to support industry and community life – whether it is a toothbrush or a mining truck.”

“Each year more than 6.5 million tonnes of freight flows in and out of the Pilbara, which is carried over great distances because of our remote location.”

“The establishment of direct freight links would significantly reduce costs for Pilbara based businesses as well as create additional opportunities for new businesses to establish, particularly those with export potential.”

“The development of exports in live seafood, oysters, horticultural products and beef could be facilitated by an air link triangulated over Perth.”

The City of Karratha Council endorsed its freight study at Monday night’s Council meeting and it is being presented to local businesses at the City of Karratha Small Business Breakfast Briefing today.

The next stage is recommended to be independent facilitation work to assist the business development of new direct maritime and air freight services between the Pilbara and Asia.

The City of Karratha Pilbara Freight Study is available here.

Have your say about the City’s economic future

The draft Economic Development Strategy has been released for public comment. Picture: City of Karratha

The draft Economic Development Strategy has been released for public comment. Picture: City of Karratha

A strategy to attract diverse and sustainable business and employment opportunities to the City of Karratha has been released for public comment.

Council endorsed the draft Economic Development Strategy in December as part of the City’s commitment to diversify and grow the local economy.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the strategy would provide a framework for Council’s continued leadership to support local businesses and attract new industries to improve the local economy’s resilience to the resources sector.

“The City has played a major role in developing the local economy through significant investment in infrastructure and supporting the small business sector,” Cr Long said.

“Last financial year Council approved more than $160,000 in business development grants to help small and medium businesses achieve their potential.

“The draft strategy has been prepared in consultation with local businesses, business support organisations, government agencies and the City’s advisory groups.

“It focuses on initiatives that will deliver the greatest economic impacts and benefits to the community, which work towards achieving our vision to become Australia’s most liveable regional city.”

The strategy’s four key outcomes include strengthening Karratha as the regional capital of the North West, population growth, economic diversification and improved air, sea and land connectivity.

Focus areas to achieve the strategy’s outcomes include enhancing small and medium business support, attracting business investment and building investment partnerships.

The draft Economic Development Strategy will be advertised for public comment for 21 days.

The draft strategy is available online at or can be inspected at the City of Karratha Administration Building on Welcome Road Monday-Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Public comment can be made in writing to the City of Karratha, PO Box 219 Karratha WA 6714 or via email to before 1 March 2019.

Activation of Roebourne town centre begins

The restored Victoria Hotel. Picture: Tina Nevil, Yurra Pty Ltd

The restored Victoria Hotel. Picture: Tina Nevil, Yurra Pty Ltd

The restoration of an iconic 152-year-old building in Roebourne’s town centre will help to facilitate tourism and business growth in 2019.

Yindijibarndi Aboriginal Corporation have redeveloped the Victoria Hotel which will support the local community through the provision of current and new services, showcasing the vibrancy and diversity of the town and its community.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the ambitious restoration fits with Council’s larger, long-term vision for the revitalisation of Roebourne’s main street and would create a hub for the community and visitors.

“Congratulations to Yindijibarndi Aboriginal Corporation on the completion of this incredible redevelopment project,” Cr Long said.

“The Victoria Hotel is a recognisable building in the heart of Roebourne and its redevelopment embodies many of the objectives outlined in Council’s Roebourne Structure Plan.

“Our vision for Roebourne was developed after extensive consultation with the Indigenous community and other stakeholders with strong interest in the town.

“It focuses on celebrating culture, supporting the local community and building a diversified economic base that contributes to the Pilbara region.

“Council look forward to seeing the Victoria Hotel open in the coming weeks, and will increase street sweeping, pavement and street furniture cleaning programs ahead of this.

“Council has been working hard improve amenity along Roebourne’s main street including upgrades to the median strip and parking at the Ngurin Centre."

The redeveloped Victoria Hotel will house an interactive cultural centre, visitor and information services and the Roebourne Library, offering extended hours and state-of-the-art technology as a cornerstone of user experience.

Local Aboriginal Corporation, Juluwarlu Group, will tenant the space and support Council services.

The Victoria Hotel redevelopment has been led by the Yindijibarndi Aboriginal Corporation with support from the WA Government, Federal Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Pilbara Development Commission and the City of Karratha.

The City of Karratha Roebourne Structure Plan is available to view at

Have your say about the City of Karratha

The City of Karratha's annual community survey opens today and closes on February 28, 2019.

The City of Karratha's annual community survey opens today and closes on February 28, 2019.

The City of Karratha’s annual community survey is now open for residents to make their voices heard regarding a range of Council matters.

The community survey is an important tool for gathering feedback about the City of Karratha’s performance across 26 service areas.

Survey responses are collated and used by Council to consider areas for increased funding for the following financial year.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long encouraged residents to have their say.

“Council values the feedback residents provide through this survey, which the City has conducted for the past seven years,” Cr Long said.

“The data we collect enables us to benchmark our results so we can focus our efforts in response to the community’s priorities.

“Last year residents told us community safety and security was a high priority, so we allocated an additional $200,000 to expand our footpath lighting program and introduced a security subsidy scheme to help residents feel safer.”

Other recent examples of how the community survey has influenced Council’s priorities include:
- $16m Wickham Community Hub and $80,000 Wickham BMX track to increase youth services and activities
- $2.6m Welcome Park to provide more parks and gardens
- $11.7m Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment, $650,000 Point Samson boardwalk and viewing platform, $200,000 Wickham Boat Beach ramp works and Hearsons Cove upgrades to enhance foreshore amenity, and
- $2.4m to upgrade Mooligan Road in the light industrial area to improve local roads.

The community survey opened today and closes on February 28, 2019.

To complete the survey and go in the draw to win a Go Pro Hero 7 Black valued at $598, visit

The results of the survey will be published online and in the 2019 April Ordinary Council Meeting minutes.

Coastal conservation for 40 Mile on the horizon

40 Mile (Gnoorea) is a popular for nature-based camping, fishing, boating, four wheel driving and swimming.

40 Mile (Gnoorea) is a popular for nature-based camping, fishing, boating, four wheel driving and swimming.

A popular coastal recreation spot is set to benefit from foreshore enhancement works this camping season.

Residents and locals flock to 40 Mile (Gnoorea) for nature-based camping experiences, four wheel driving, fishing, boating and swimming.

Located 60km south south-west of Karratha, the 40 Mile area incorporates approximately 11km of coastline and is part of the determined Native Title area for the Yabrurara and Coastal Mardudhunera people.

The City will commence implementing foreshore enhancement works recommended by Council’s adopted Gnoorea (40 Mile Beach) Foreshore Management Plan this year, after securing State Government funding.

The plan provides guidance to protect, maintain and enhance the environmental and cultural values of the 40 Mile reserve.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Community Stewardship Grants Program allocated $97,000 to the City this month to improve campsites and rehabilitate vegetation and dunes, which have been impacted by uncontrolled access.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said it was important to conserve the coastline, which played a big part in the lifestyle of many residents.

“Council is committed to improving the amenity of our foreshores, with works recently completed or underway in Karratha, Point Samson, Wickham and Dampier,” Cr Long said.

“The City’s application for funding was submitted in partnership with the Yabrurara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation (YACMAC) and the foreshore enhancement works will be carried out side-by-side with the Marduthani Rangers on-country.”

The works are expected to be undertaken over the next three years, with the first stage coinciding with the designated camping season from May 1 to September 30.

The Gnoorea (40 Mile) Foreshore Management Plan is available to view online at

Council chooses local Aboriginal company for welcome addition to CBD

The Welcome Park project is part of the City's ongoing work to activate and enhance the amenity of the city centre.

The Welcome Park project is part of the City's ongoing work to activate and enhance the amenity of the city centre.

Plans to transform the vacant lot on the corner of Welcome Road and Sharpe Avenue into a peaceful public space have progressed to the next stage.

Council nominated local Aboriginal company GBSC Yurra Pty Ltd as the preferred tenderer for the construction of landscaping and a pedestrian bridge for Welcome Park last week.

The $2.6m project is part Council’s ongoing work to activate and enhance the amenity of the city centre.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said City officers would continue negotiations with the local company regarding the scope of the significant project.

“Welcome Park will provide a landscaped link between the Red Earth Arts Precinct and the city centre,” Cr Long said.

“This development will be a welcoming entry statement for visitors and provide a place for our community to get together.”

Plans include public artworks by local artists and groups, interpretive signage and park furniture located among native plants.

The landscaping and pedestrian bridge works will complement the long-vehicle car park at the rear of the shopping centre, which was completed in December.

Community engagement will continue throughout the construction process via social media and displays and competitions at Karratha Library.

Construction of Welcome Park is anticipated to commence in March and expected to be completed by August.

Welcome Park is funded by the City of Karratha, State Government’s Royalties for Regions program administered by the Pilbara Development Commission and Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund.

Australia Day highlights city’s finest

Horizon Power retail and community manager Michelle South with 2019 City of Karratha Citizen of the Year Sandra Spadanuda.

Horizon Power retail and community manager Michelle South with 2019 City of Karratha Citizen of the Year Sandra Spadanuda.

Grassroots community heroes were celebrated at the annual Australia Day Awards breakfast over the long weekend.

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

Sandra Spadanuda was named 2019 Citizen of the Year for her tireless dedication toward improving the lives of children and young people throughout the region.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the awards provided an opportunity to formally recognise and thank the many remarkable individuals within our community and congratulated all nominees on their achievements.

“Australia Day gives us the chance to commend the people who are first to raise their hand, who give up their weekends, who spend hours organising and contributing, not because they have to but because they are passionate about giving back to the community that we all call home,” Cr Long said.

“I would like to personally congratulate all of our nominees and award winners. Their unwavering commitment to our community, makes the City of Karratha the enviable place to live that it is today,” he said.

“Our program of Australia Day celebrations have become a highlight on the local events calendar. In addition to the awards breakfast, we welcomed nearly a dozen new citizens into our community with a special ceremony."

Rio Tinto general manager Ports Cape Lambert Chris Osborn presented the Community Spirit Award, Community Service Award and the Community Event/Activity of the Year Award, recognising each recipient’s personal achievements and contribution to the local community.

“Rio Tinto are committed to working with local community groups and organisations to build stronger communities across the region. It’s a great pleasure to present these awards, which clearly demonstrates the importance community plays, in the hearts and minds of local residents here in Karratha,” he said.

Award nominations were evaluated in a number of areas, including time contributed to volunteering, demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the City of Karratha and achieving good outcomes for the community.

Other awards included Citizen of Year, Young Citizen of Year and Environmental Achievement.

Woodside’s Karratha Gas Plant Asset Manager Andrew Lobb said Woodside and the North West Shelf Project have proudly supported the City of Karratha’s Australia Day Awards since 2012 and will continue to place importance on this annual community celebration.

“The Australia Day awards recognise the generous spirit and culture of service that define Karratha. Congratulations to all of the nominees and recipients whose efforts make our community a wonderful place to live and work," he said.

Horizon Power Retail and Community Manager Michelle South congratulated all winners and nominees of the Australia Day awards and acknowledged the achievements of 2019 Citizen of the Year recipient Sandra Spadanuda.

“Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s City of Karratha Australia Day Awards and well done to all of the nominees.  It’s easy to see why this is such a great place to live and work, with so many outstanding individuals investing their time and energy back into the community,” she said.
“Sandra Spadanuda is a very deserving winner of this prestigious award and through her efforts has dramatically improved the lives of countless children and young people across the region.”

2019 Australia Day Award winners:

Citizen of the Year – Sandra Spadanuda
Presented by Horizon Power
Dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people in the region, Sandra is a volunteer Director on the YACWA (Youth Affairs Council of WA) Board and a voluntary member of the Baynton West Primary School Board. A caring and passionate person, Sandra believes in working with young people to help them create a brighter future for not only themselves, but also the wider community. In early 2013, Sandra became an endorsed foster carer for the Department of Communities – Child Protection and Family Support. In an attempt to close the gaps in youth services, programs, funding, resources and youth servicing providers, Sandra co-founded the Blue Beanie Projects in 2015.

Young Citizen of the Year – Pansy Derschow
Presented by Woodside
A positive role model for young Indigenous girls, Pansy is a lovely young girl who always has a positive outlook and a big smile for all she meets. Despite many barriers, Pansy engages full time in a VTS training program and through dedication, she has now been chosen to mentor and train the students. Pansy actively participates in the local Blue Beanie Projects assisting the management team with make-up, directing the girls and mentoring. A positive role model, Pansy is willing to give anything a go to make a brighter future.

Community Service – Karratha Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service
Presented by Rio Tinto
100% volunteer based, Karratha Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service is the primary emergency response brigade for bush, industrial and structure fires, HAZMAT and road rescue within the township of Karratha. The Karratha Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service also provides support to other emergency response units for fires, traffic accidents and storm clean ups. During the 2017/2018 financial year, they attended a total of 219 call-outs; one of the busiest years in Karratha Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service’s 45-year history.

Environmental Award – Rose Best
Presented by the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project
Ambassador for the Pilbara Wildlife Carers since 2018, Rose Best has been assisting all species of wildlife and doing her best to rehabilitate and release all that come through Pilbara Wildlife’s doors. Education is a significant part of what Rose does, offering great support and knowledge to community members and businesses. Her passion for wildlife in the region is contagious and many have been touched by her amazing work from rescues to relocations, advice and releases.

Community Spirit – Stephen Clarke
Presented by Rio Tinto
An active member of the Karratha Scout Group and church youth leader for over 10 years, Stephen demonstrates respect, integrity, honesty and goal setting. Involved with the turtle monitoring and through community service, Stephen continues to inspire and assist the next generation to be their best through his love for the land and the people and teaching how to care for the environment.

Event/Activity of the Year – Dampier Billy Cart Derby
Presented by Rio Tinto
Now in its third year, the Billy Cart Derby was brought to Karratha by Jamie and Alison with inspiration from Marble Bar. They have worked through the safety complexities, engaged the local community and businesses to deliver this iconic event. In the months leading up to the Derby, the communities of Dampier and Karratha are buzzing with excitement. Families are getting together in sheds, carports and living rooms, in an attempt to build a person-carrying beast that can roll down a hill. This event wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers that assist with set up and local businesses that provide in-kind services to ensure the event is a success.

Karratha Council plan to ban single-use plastics


Plastic bags, disposable drink bottles and straws will be banned from City of Karratha operations and events over the next 12 months under a new single-use plastics reduction strategy.

Council endorsed a proposal to develop a single-use plastics reduction strategy and replace single-use plastics with biodegradable or reusable products on Monday.

The strategy was developed by the City’s Single Use Plastics Working Group (SUP), which formed in September to tackle the use of disposable plastic products within the organisation.

SUP conducted an audit of the five most common single-use plastics – plastic bags, coffee and water cups, water bottles, drinking straws and utensils – across the organisation.

Once implemented, the new strategy will eliminate 71,000 plastic bags, almost 16,000 cups, more than 5000 water bottles and nearly 3000 straws and utensils.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said Council recognises the importance of reducing plastic waste.

“Phasing out single-use plastics is an effective way to reduce our contribution to landfill and minimise the impact of plastic pollution on our wildlife and oceans,” Cr Long said.

“While this won’t happen overnight, we have taken the next step to become ‘single-use plastic free’ environmentally responsible organisation. We will also investigate the feasibility of our popular Red Earth Arts Festival becoming single-use plastics free.

“While commercial businesses operating within Council facilities are not obliged to replace single-use plastics, we encourage businesses and the community to choose to reuse wherever possible.”

The single-use plastics reduction strategy follows the introduction of biodegradable doggie bags in dog-friendly parks, distributing reusable coffee cups and water bottles to staff and not providing drinking straws or plastic cutlery.

Council endorsed a single-use plastics reduction strategy to tackle the use of single-use plastics within the organisation.

Historic agreement to benefit Dampier community

If completed, the agreement will enable the City to progress the $10.7m Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment. Credit: City of Karratha

If completed, the agreement will enable the City to progress the $10.7m Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment. Credit: City of Karratha

Council’s vision to develop the Dampier foreshore has advanced to the next stage after a multimillion-dollar agreement was endorsed on Monday.

The historic agreement with Rio Tinto involves the transfer of ownership of land owned under freehold or lease by Rio Tinto to the City of Karratha.

Endorsement by Council is a positive step in the process toward a formal transfer agreement, which remains subject to negotiations with the State Government.

The 10 sites subject to the agreement include popular community facilities, infrastructure, public spaces and tourist attractions: Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club, the Dampier foreshore and public boat ramp, Hampton Oval and Windy Ridge Oval, Dampier Bowling Club, tennis and squash courts, Jurat Park, Hardy Reserve, Red Dog Entry Bay and the Dampier Lookout.

If completed, the transfer will enable the City to progress the $10.7m Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment and the estimated $15m Dampier Marine project.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the agreement had been 35 years in the making.

“Negotiations have been ongoing for many years so it’s great to see it come to fruition,” Cr Long said.

“Transferring these assets will enable Council to upgrade community facilities, activate public spaces and open the door for future development in Dampier, which is a great outcome for the community.”

These works are anticipated to be included in the City’s 2020-21 budget.

Rio Tinto will also allocate $2.5m from the Community Infrastructure and Services Partnership reserve towards the Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment.

Rio Tinto managing director Port, Rail and Core Services Ivan Vella said endorsement by the City was an important milestone.

“This is an important step toward progressing the transfer, which will significantly enhance community facilities and infrastructure in the region,” he said.

“Our partnership with the City of Karratha has gone from strength to strength in recent years, delivering real benefits to the local community with more than $50m contributed since 2012.

“The proposed transfer of land builds on our shared vision of creating vibrant, healthy communities in this amazing part of Australia.”

Call for community input on sustainability

The Point Samson viewing platform. Credit: City of Karratha

The Point Samson viewing platform. Credit: City of Karratha

Expressions of interest are open for community representatives to join the City of Karratha’s Environment and Sustainability Advisory Group.

The group was established in 2016 to provide advice to Council on the development of environmental conservation strategies and sustainability actions.

The group currently comprises community representatives, Mayor Peter Long, Deputy Mayor Grant Cucel and senior city officers.

Community members with an interest or experience in environmental conservation and sustainability are encouraged to apply.

The group is currently reviewing the City’s 2013 Environmental Strategy and calling for more members to provide input and  feedback to guide preparation of a revised strategy.

The scope of the review is broad: conserving and managing natural assets; renewable energy generation and energy efficiency; recycling and waste management, sustainable use and management of resources; and creating sustainable and attractive built environments.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Council is committed to conserving and promoting the region’s spectacular natural environment as part of a well-balanced growth strategy.

“We know residents value the natural environment from the results of our annual Community Survey, so Council considers it important to conserve and enhance our natural assets and give our residents the opportunity to be engaged in that process,” Cr Long said.

“Council will continue to look at how we can be more sustainable as an organization and believes the community can help so we are giving residents with a passion for environmental sustainability the opportunity to join this advisory group.”

Group members are appointed for a two-year period and expected to attend quarterly meetings to discuss environment and sustainability issues.

To nominate, please post or email a written Expression of Interest to P.O. Box 219, Karratha WA 6714 or outlining why you would like to join the group. Nominations close 31 January 2019.