Karratha gets nod as ripe for regional cash

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Karratha's Sharpe Avenue.
Camera IconKarratha's Sharpe Avenue. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

Karratha has been recognised as a great place to live and work after Regional Capitals Alliance WA endorsed the city as one of the two most viable State candidates for the Federal Government’s Regional Deals policy.

Regional Deals brings together all levels of government to develop cities and identify new and important ways to grow the regional economy, including up to $100 million in funding to help it happen.

The 10 regional capitals that make up the alliance voted on the two most ready WA cities, with Karratha and Albany identified as the top candidates.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said there is a misconception that if you live and work in regional areas you are missing out.

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“Our city has attractive career prospects, high-quality infrastructure, services and facilities, and an enviable lifestyle,” he said.

“We will continue to advocate for funding and resources to identify opportunities to grow our regional economy to reach its full potential.”

Regional Capitals Australia will now help lobby the Federal Government on Karratha’s behalf.

RCA chairwoman Samantha McIntosh said Karratha had confirmed with a great deal of credibility that it was at the top of the rung.

“Given that they’re ready for it, we would like to see something happen as soon as possible,” she said. “Our goal will be to highlight the need for this regional deal and try to get a commitment as soon as we can.”

The idea of Regional Deals is for the three levels of government to work together to tailor the deals to each individual city and focus on what is most important to help them grow.

“Karratha is a much newer city and has different requirements — it’s surrounded by water and very remote from other parts of the State,” Ms McIntosh said.

“Connectivity is therefore something that will be very important for them. We want to make sure that Karratha has the appropriate air, rail and road connections to make sure they can respond to the challenges of population growth.”

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