Rio Tinto revealed as owner of Pilbara fire-hazard buildings

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Rio Tinto hard hats.
Camera IconRio Tinto hard hats. Credit: WA News, Michael Wilson

Rio Tinto has come forward as the owner of the two Pilbara buildings identified as fire risks in last year’s Statewide cladding audit.

The company informed the WA Building Commission of the external cladding issue at Wickham Lodge and Cajuput Villas, both 20km from Karratha, and has closed the buildings while repairs take place.

A Rio Tinto spokesman said the company decided to replace external cladding from the two accommodation facilities after identifying the fire risk.

“Works on the buildings are well progressed,” he said. “Safety is our top priority and the buildings have been vacated to allow for works to be undertaken.”

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Last month, Building Commissioner Ken Bowron told the Pilbara News it was not in the public interest to identify the buildings but disclosed they were class-3, which included transient workforce accommodation.

The buildings are the only two in the Pilbara that have a potential fire hazard issue.

They are both about three storeys high and require all the external cladding to be replaced.

The work is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.

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