Bunnings: on its way, but we don’t know when

Rebecca ParishNorth West Telegraph
Port Hedland's Bunnings still hasn’t opened.
Camera IconPort Hedland's Bunnings still hasn’t opened. Credit: North West Telegraph

Bunnings representatives say they are confident of bringing a store to Port Hedland in the future, but as for when residents will be able to wander the wide aisles of the hardware giant, there is no comment.

The statement came from Bunnings general manager Andrew Marks after a discussion about the highly anticipated and long-awaited store flooded social media recently, with some questioning whether the store would ever come to town.

Hedland locals were left scratching their heads after “Bunnings coming soon” signs were erected at a lot in Kingsford Smith Business Park a year ago — two years after the land was bought by Bunnings — while no sign of construction has been seen.

Town of Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett weighed in on the issue online and said she understood a successful tenderer had been appointed and construction was expected to start after the cyclone season.

However, Bunnings representatives would not confirm or deny Ms Howlett’s comments and reiterated their statement they would update the community “when appropriate”.

Hedland Home Hardware and Garden managing director Gloria Jacobs confirmed her South Hedland store was there to stay.

Her reassurance comes despite movements by Woolworths possibly to sell its Masters chain, which encapsulates the Home Timber and Hardware brand.

“The stores are owned by store owners, ” she said.

“We are locally owned (and) this is our 27th year. There’s no way whatever happens with Woolworths’ decision to sell Masters and the Home Timber and Hardware brand — it won’t affect the local store here.”

With things progressing slowly elsewhere, it seems development could start on another lot in the business park in the second half of 2016 if BHP Billiton is given approval to begin construction of a warehouse and storage facility.

A spokeswoman for BHP said the development remained subject to external approvals, but the facility would allow BHP to improve warehousing capacity across operations because it would be centrally located between Port Hedland operations and the Mooka rail facility south of Hedland.

The application by BHP to build the $40 million development is recommended for approval by the Pilbara Joint Development Assessment Panel next Wednesday.

Other businesses which have indicated interest in developing in the park include Puma Energy and Jupps Floorcoverings.

If BHP starts construction this year, it will be the first business to break ground within the park since it was formed.

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