Karratha gears up for Developing Northern Australia Conference

Alicia PereraPilbara News
The Red Earth Arts Precinct will host the Developing Northern Australia Conference on July 11-12.
Camera IconThe Red Earth Arts Precinct will host the Developing Northern Australia Conference on July 11-12. Credit: The West Australian, Stephen Scourfield

The economic success and tourism potential of the Pilbara will be on full show when the premier conference for economic development in northern Australia comes to Karratha next week.

About 300 delegates including politicians, industry leaders and academics are expected to converge on Karratha’s Red Earth Arts Precinct for the Developing Northern Australia Conference on July 11 and 12 when the event comes to WA for the first time in its five-year history.

This year’s conference will feature more than 60 presentations aimed at fostering economic diversification and resilient communities in the country’s north.

Topics to be covered include resources, land, water, energy, renewables, agribusiness and population strategy.

Keynote speakers will include Northern Australia Development research leader Chris Chilcott, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance chairwoman Cissy Gore-Birch, CQUniversity deputy vice-chancellor Grant Stanley, Rio Tinto Iron Ore managing director of port, rail and core services Ivan Vella, and ASEAN general manager Sally-Ann Watts, as well as City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long and Our Country director Blaze Kwaymullina.

The Developing Northern Australia Conference is organised by the Association for Sustainability in Business.

Chief executive Sam Stewart said hosting this year’s conference could raise Karratha’s profile on a national level.

“The development of the Karratha Red Earth Arts Precinct has provided a facility in northern WA, giving us the capacity to make this conference viable, and we are excited to provide our attendees with the opportunity to explore the region,” he said.

“The conference is designed to facilitate and further discussions involving the growth, progress and investment of northern Australia.

“In taking the event to Karratha, we aim to raise the awareness of the great work being done in northern Australia and the Pilbara.”

He said a range of post-conference tours would also be available for delegates to showcase “the best Karratha and the Pilbara has on offer”.

City of Karratha director of development services Ryan Hall said Karratha’s selection as event host was an exciting opportunity for the region.

The conference has previously been held in Alice Springs, Cairns, Darwin and Townsville.

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