Berth 3 project jobs mostly local

Daneka HillThe West Australian
Workers at Berth 3 in the Port of Port Hedland.
Camera IconWorkers at Berth 3 in the Port of Port Hedland. Credit: Pilbara Ports Authority

A multi-million-dollar project in Port Hedland will create about 50 local jobs and more than 20 sub-contractor positions, with 75 per cent of the workforce coming from the Pilbara.

Successful tenderer Total AMS Pty Ltd is working on the $33.5 million replacement of the Berth 3 deck and fender at the Port of Port Hedland.

Local business leaders expect the flow-on effect of local employment to bolster the regional economy.

Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce president Peter Carter said a majority workforce from the Pilbara was a huge plus.

“Sometimes they can, sometimes they can’t get people from here,” he said.

“The town has been slowly chugging away, chugging away — this gives great investment.”

The Berth 3 project is a part of a program by the State Government designed to maximise opportunities and help local WA businesses win government contracts.

Berth 3 project actually pre-dates the WA Industry Participation Strategy, says Pilbara Ports Authority engineering and infrastructure general manager Charles Kretzmann. “Pilbara Ports Authority volunteered the Berth 3 Deck Replacement project as a WAIPS pilot project,” he said.

Originally constructed in the late 1960s, Berth 3 was replaced for the first time in 1988.

Berth 3’s operating environment is particularly harsh as it prim-arily handles the export of salt and fuels.

“The build has been designed specifically to address the issues and provide a tough and fit-for-purpose deck that is expected to last 50 years,” Mr Kretzmann said.

The “harsh and salty” environment has deteriorated Berth 3 over the past 31 years. However, Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan said technology advances and a better understanding of the working environment would provide a deck expected to last for 50 years.

Member for the Pilbara Kevin Michel approves of the local hiring commitment.

“It’s fantastic that a local Pilbara project will be a pilot project under the McGowan Government’s WA Industry Participation Strategy.”

Initially the contract was going to be awarded to York Civil Pty Ltd, but it was terminated after the company entered voluntary administration in August 2018.

The project is expected to be completed by late October 2019.

Periodic closure of the berth would be required as part of the works.

Ms MacTiernan said the Pilbara Ports Authority had worked closely with port users, including Dampier Salt Ltd, to an agreed access arrangement and to minimise disruption to important trade activities.

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