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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 979 asked in the Legislative Council on 17 October 2018 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 17 October 2018

SPOILBANK MARINA — PORT HEDLAND

979. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to the government's announcement regarding the revised marina concept for Port Hedland.

(1) Why has the proposal changed substantially in scope from 100 to 150 boat pens, as announced by the previous government, to just 20 to 25 boat pens?

(2) Has the government garnered the support of BHP for the marina proposal and community activation in the west end?

(3) If yes to (2), what commitment or assurances has the government made to BHP to gain this?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question.

(1)–(3) When we came to government and we approached the Town of Port Hedland about its obligations under the document that had been drawn up, we pointed out that there would be a yearly $2 million maintenance cost for the project as it had been originally drawn up. Only $6 million had been set aside, so only for the first three years would the maintenance be covered and then it was presumed that that would be picked up by the Town of Port Hedland. The Town of Port Hedland made it absolutely clear that it was not able to fork out for such an expense and, indeed, that it was under a lot of pressure and would like to reduce its capital expenditure as well.

In addition to that, we looked at the figures that had come in for the demand for boats and boat pens in Port Hedland. Certainly, there was no strong evidence to support the number of boat pens that were involved.

Fundamentally, as we see it, this facility provides some boating facilities, but it is very much about providing a linkage to the foreshore and some foreshore amenity for the people of Port Hedland and South Hedland. We worked on how we could achieve something that was going to be financially possible and sustainable for the Town of Port Hedland and, indeed, for the state government. We have pulled it back to a scale that we think is imminently possible. The cost structures and the maintenance are reasonable and we can be satisfied there will be a demand for those pens.

Of course, we have been having good discussions with BHP as part of our Pilbara collaboration and it has expressed interest in supporting some of the landside activation. There has been no formal agreement in that regard, but we hope that perhaps the member could work with us in also getting Roy Hill to bring its project for an Aboriginal cultural centre into this precinct so that we can get a very good outcome for the people of this region.