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Town of Port Hedland council approves 222 person camp for 10 years next to airport

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
An artist’s impression of the camp.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of the camp. Credit: Supplied/Town of Port Hedland

A 222-bed workforce accommodation camp is set to be erected adjacent to the Port Hedland International Airport after the town’s local government unanimously approved the development application.

Town of Port Hedland councillors endorsed the application for a workforce accommodation camp at Lot 9008 Great Northern Highway on October 26, subject to 22 conditions.

As part of the conditions, the applicant — MGM Group — has to contribute $72,735 to the Town to install shared paths connecting the development to amenities within close proximity and for existing paths along Wallwork Road.

The conditions also require all development be removed from the site by October 26, 2032.

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The camp will feature 222 single-occupant rooms with private ensuites, shared facilities including laundries, an administration office, a shop and recreational buildings such as a wet and dry mess and a gym.

Located just 1.5km from the airport, the facility would be near two already established camps, the ESS Gateway Village and BHP Port Hedland Village.

During the October 26 meeting, Cr Ash Christensen said the local government and the applicant had given all due consideration to the proposal.

An artist’s impression of the camp.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of the camp. Credit: Supplied/Town of Port Hedland

“We’re all used to the Pilbara way when we come into these ebbs and flows of the boom and bust sequence,” he said.

“And unfortunately, we’re back into the boom without having done, in my opinion, due consideration to building housing stock to help grow the town further.

“Unfortunately, while I don’t agree that the solution is building numerous amounts of working camps, I do believe in order for us to help companies develop and stay relevant in the Town, we need to do the necessary evils at this stage right now. “

He said the company had worked closely with the Town to work through any concerns the local government had.

Cr Jan Gillingham said she had concerns about the camp’s design and the isolation of workers.

“Our FIFO workforce is spending a lot of time in these camps,” she said.

“We could, or the builders could, look at a better design way of connecting these people more.”

The approval comes after the applicant, bulk haulage transport company MGM Group, had previously submitted a development application for lot 436 Bayley Retreat in Port Hedland on February 23, which was refused based on the site being deemed an unsuitable location.

The company took the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal, where it was recommended to go into mediation with the Town of Port Hedland and submit a proposal for a new location.

The council endorsed the application 6-0, granting approval for 10 years.

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