Sport and growth priorities
For the latest look at the thoughts of those up for positions in our local elections this week on October 21, we look at the future of sports and economic growth.
This week, we asked the Town of Port Hedland candidates what measures they will introduce and support to ensure sports across the town are kept alive.
The South Hedland Pool remedial works will allow the pool to open and give the town time to consult the community through the Strategic Community Plan. The next step will be to finance and implement the community’s findings, including the sporting precinct master plan. This is a legislated process that determines the future of the town.
Unlike previous councils, the newly elected body must ensure the findings of the SCP are achieved.
Local clubs are incredibly important and they should receive support that acknowledges this. Clubs cannot be burdened by over-the-top fees and charges or prohibitive red tape. I support the recreation precinct master plans as they are designed to bring renewed infrastructure and reduced operating costs which are two current issues hindering the Town’s budget. Let’s look at the bigger picture.
These projects will move Hedland forward.
I am not in favour of closing any existing pool facilities.
From 2014 until 2016/17, $19.5 million have been spent on SH pool. Time and again promises are made that SH pool will be opening shortly but it all seems to be false promise. If elected, we will make it a primary project of accountability and guarantee future functionality of this facility for our community.
Presently out of seven filters in SH pool, four are out and it costs $35,000 to replace one filter. Replace it and move on.
Pools are an integral part of our lifestyle here in the heat of the north. If a town is growing at or above the growth rate of Australia, it is not dying. If a town or city is growing, it should be increasing in amenities, and the income to support those amenities. I am looking forward to working towards a sustainable, healthy, growing town or city, with amenities such as pools where they are needed.
Residents should have the best sporting facilities the town can supply and fund.
If we can find ways to gradually reduce the number of fly-in, fly-out workers and attract these families to become residents, plus create jobs through diversification, then we would be improving our town for everyone. To facilitate this growth, the Town of Port Hedland Council has to adopt a new town planning scheme to replace the outdated 2001 plan we work under. That way we ensure zonings are appropriate to attract a population into the Pilbara.
In the short-term we need to maintain the facilities that we already have.
I support the decision the council recently made for renewal of the South pool. The sporting facilities we have are the result of an outdated plan that saw our population growing to 50,000 by 2035. FIFO has killed that dream. We need to live within our financial means.
Rationalisation and the loss of some facilities could well be the longer-term result.
I would support any opportunity to centralise our sporting facilities that would reduce our costs to ratepayers and add value to Hedland and the local sporting groups. However, it will be up to the community to decide during the strategic community planning sessions which will be held after the elections. The community will get to choose what they want and where they want the facilities to be located. Please take the time to vote.
I would ensure there was a permanent continuation of the two swimming pools in Port Hedland and South Hedland, more discussion and consultation on the plan for the sporting facilities at McGregor Street and encouragement from the community to attract volunteers to run these events.
I will support sport activities. I am hoping we can diversify by allocating space and resources that will promote arts and culture through stage plays and dancing. Arts and culture cultivate talents and contribute in social and artistic development of children and adults.
Space for yoga and aerobics would be good, too, as they will attract certain community groups.
This week we asked candidates what measures they will support to enhance economic growth in their wards.
South Ward candidate
Breaking down barriers and diversification of the industry sector across the region is vital in the challenge we face creating population and economic growth. We need increased residential employment opportunities that will bring more families to town and children to our schools. Blessed with an abundance of natural resources, pastoral leases, beautiful landscapes and rich Aboriginal culture, there are many opportunities to be explored. I will continue to support local business and endeavour to explore and unlock initiatives and develop strategies and programs that foster sustainable population and economic growth in our town and region.
East Ward candidate
I’m a strong advocate of the BHP buy local program that is encouraging small businesses within the community to grow and develop. I also feel that manageable spending within the entire Shire needs to be considered and overseen.
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