City of Karratha’s FIFO policy is clear

Peter LongPilbara News
FIFO miners unloading luggage from a jet.
Camera IconFIFO miners unloading luggage from a jet. Credit: Rob Maccoll

In recent years the council has taken a strong stance on the issue of fly-in, fly-out workforce practices within the City of Karratha.

The council recognises the need for transient workforces during periods of rapid construction, however our strong preference is for operational roles to be offered as residential positions wherever possible.

Residential workforces create local jobs and support the community to a far greater degree than FIFO workforces.

The council’s Transient Worker Accommodation Policy provides a clear framework to guide our decisions when considering applications to build new FIFO camps or extend existing facilities.

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Where temporary workforces are required, such as for short-term construction and major shutdowns, the council’s view is FIFO workers should be accommodated in quality developments that are suitably integrated into the surrounding suburbs.

You may have noticed that construction of Bay Village began recently.

The council has been consistent in its policy regarding this development and negotiated with the State Government and Woodside to ensure the best possible outcome for the community.

The outcome is a smaller, more integrated, higher quality facility than was initially proposed.

Last month, the council considered an application to expand Kingfisher Village, off Madigan Road.

The existing camp was approved in 2007, with an expansion granted in 2013 that has a 10-year limit and is due to expire in 2023.

The council took into consideration that the applicant did not specify a project associated with a need to expand the current facility, and that no progress has been made towards the expansion since 2013.

In addition, the land proposed for the expansion is zoned rural residential, which conflicts the council’s TWA Policy.

The council weighed up these factors and resolved to not support the application.

The application was subsequently considered by the Kimberley/Pilbara/Gascoyne Joint Development Assessment Panel who agreed with the council’s position.

As a council, we will continue to be consistent in our approach towards reducing the reliance of operational FIFO workforces in the City of Karratha.

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