Council putsup $15k forconference

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Despite constant reminders of the Town of Port Hedland’s financial situation, its councillors have agreed to sponsor the 2017 Pilbara Economic Development Conference.

At last week’s council meeting, councillors decided to forgo requesting the Pilbara Regional Council to fund the sponsorship as they did last year in order to “let the city know that Port Hedland is open for business”.

The sponsorship for the event aimed at highlighting emerging industries in the Pilbara will be $15,000 and will be held in Perth on August 29.

The three options were not to sponsor the event, to agree to sponsor the conference, or to request that the Pilbara Regional Council sponsor it again.

Councillor Lincoln Tavo, who was for the PRC sponsoring the event for the Town, said there wasn’t enough evidence regarding the positive effects of the conference to invest such a substantial sum into it.

“Its been a continual trend where we’re happy to give away money to other shires and other areas and don’t see any of the consequence,” he said.

“We still attend, we still put ourselves forward ... still support the event but do it through the PRC.”

However, Crs Julie Arif, Richard Whitwell, Louise Newbery, David Hooper and Deputy Mayor Troy Melville voted Mr Tavo’s choice down.

The council ultimately decided on option two, whereby the Town would allocate $15,000 for the sponsorship in the 2017-18 budget, with Cr Arif saying it was time for Port Hedland to put its money where its mouth was.

“Who’s best to represent Port Hedland than us?” she said.

“If we were to put the money up, go down there, be loud, be proud and let them know Port Hedland is ready for business.”

The conference aims to encourage diversification in the Pilbara.

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