Wait for marina funding

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The Town of Port Hedland is in limbo as it awaits confirmation of a $112 million hand-out to fund the long-awaited Spoilbank Marina development project.

The council has given an ultimatum to the newly installed State Government, saying it wants to know by June 30 if it will receive the cash for the project.

Mayor Camilo Blanco said the council considered the funding for the Spoilbank Marina at the March ordinary council meeting.

He said the council agreed to advise LandCorp that unless the Town received formal written confirmation of the State funding by June 30, it would suspend reimbursement of costs incurred beyond that date.

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“The Labor government committed to the marina waterfront project during the election campaign, and I have met with key ministers to discuss the funding agreement going forward,” he said.

The reimbursement cost the town is paying to Landcorp is to cover the cost of their work on developing the detailed design concept, which is part of the agreement the Town has entered into.

At February’s Pilbara Regional Council meeting, Mr Blanco questioned Labor Member Bill Johnston about Labor’s commitment to the Marina project.

Mr Blanco said he was concerned that while a commitment had been made about the Marina itself, unless Mr McGowan came out publicly in support of theCabinet-approved $112 million, there could be a risk of losing the development.

“As this is a major transformational project for the town, we will be having regular discussions with the new State Government to ensure this priority project will be achieved, as it will be a game changer in building a strong, vibrant and attractive community.”

During the confidential meeting, the council also made the decision to approve an increase of $1 million for design and technical studies for the final concept phase of the project. “The extra money was to meet additional costs as well as providing a contingency fund up until 30 June,” Mr Blanco said.

Mr Blanco said he has has discussions with the Member for Mining and Pastoral Stephen Dawson and Treasurer Ben Wyatt as well as the Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel regarding Port Hedland’s strategic direction and identifying key projects, which would require State Government support and funding. In October last year, former Premier Colin Barnett and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman announced the $112 million commitment to the $152 million project.

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