Chance to be heard on town’s future

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
Town of Port Hedland
Camera IconTown of Port Hedland Credit: Town of Port Hedland

Port Hedland residents have been urged to have their say on the future of the town, as a major growth plan is prepared for the area.

Community consultations were held in Port and South Hedland last week to gain public feedback for the Local Planning Scheme, a document set to outline the zoning and reservation requirements of Hedland.

The Town of Port Hedland has opened the surveys to the public before it opens the scheme.

The review aims to set more realistic goals than the outlook given in the Port City Growth Plan adopted in 2012, which predicted a town population of 50,000 by 2035.

Revising the figure down to a population of 27,000 by 2040, organisers hope to hear from residents about how best the review can allow for maximum utility of established assets, as well as possible future infrastructure projects.

Town of Port Hedland Commissioner Fred Riebeling said the goal was to develop a new local planning scheme which takes into consideration the views of all the community.

“We have received feedback and ideas such as housing around the South Hedland shopping centre to create a more central hub and engaging the local Aboriginal community when designing parks to ensure more native planning and bush tucker gardens,” he said.

Port Hedland Progress Association chief Jim Henneberry said it’s good the council is taking community feedback on board, but hopes the town won’t make financially risky moves without the backing of private enterprise.

“The fact that they’re de-constraining land for residential use should come with a warning that it’s not the town’s responsibility to develop the land, it should be left to private enterprise,” he said.

Mr Henneberry said recent news regarding the opening of Port Hedland to commercial freight will provide an opportunity to increase the services offered throughout the town.

The review will consider all land in the Port Hedland local government area, excluding the West End precinct, which is subject to Improvement plan 50. Mr Riebeling said the revised scheme may alter the controls and requirements which landowners are subject to, impacting how residents can develop their property.

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