Palms reno to boost town

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
The entrance to Peninsula Palms in Dampier.
Camera IconThe entrance to Peninsula Palms in Dampier. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

The Dampier Community Association is rejoicing at the news a contractor has been appointed to redevelop Rio Tinto’s mothballed workers’ village.

Rio Tinto has engaged CMA Contracting to complete the renovation of the 576-room Peninsula Palms Village, near Rio Tinto’s Dampier port.

The renovated village will provide accommodation for fly-in, fly-out employees who work at Damper Port and Rail operations.

The 1970s-era camp near Rio’s Parker Point port was originally closed in 2015, and about 200 fly-in, fly-out workers moved to Searipple Camp in Karratha.

The DCA has supported the redevelopment since it was first announced mid-last year, with the local organisation originally making a submission to council that redeveloping the camp would increase business and community activity in town.

DCA president Gill Furlong said the area was currently in a state of disrepair.

“From a cosmetic point of view, we have this beautiful new foreshore, so it’ll be good to not have an empty and derelict space at the back of that,” she said.

“Rio Tinto have said they will have some operational staff living there and a lot of those people already have connections to Dampier, so it’ll be great to have a link to some of the people living there.”

The overhaul of the village is set to include the renovation and redevelopment of accommodation rooms, dining hall, shower blocks, gymnasium, transit lounge, reception area and function room facilities.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore general manager ports Dampier, Tim McDougall said once complete, the facility would provide FIFO employees with quality accommodation and access to Dampier beach.

“The proposed upgrade and reopening of our Peninsula Palms facility will also deliver benefits for the town of Dampier through the reactivation of an existing facility while also reducing the commute time for our employees,” he said.

Once operational, the dining facility will also be open to Dampier residents and other locals in the region.

CMA Contracting has engaged local Pilbara Aboriginal business Delta Mallard to undertake demolition works as well as mechanical and hydraulic service installations.

The works would begin by early next year and be completed by the summer of 2020/2021.

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