Design rethink for community hub

Ebony SwetmanPilbara News
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Designs for the Paraburdoo Community Hub will go through another process of revision, after the Pilbara Development Commission informed the Shire of Ashburton of their concerns over the scale and scope of the current design in proportion to the population of Paraburdoo.

A business case, seeking funding from the PDC, was handed to the PDC in January which outlined a design for the hub costing $14.8 million.

At the Shire council meeting held on February 13, PDC chief executive Dr Ken King presented feedback to councillors from a PDC board meeting which highlighted their concerns about the size of the project.

Shire president Kerry White said councillors resolved to request the Paraburdoo CHUB Working Group to revise the scale and scope of the concept in accordance with the PDC's feedback and advice from specialised recreation facility consultants.

"This work will be carried out and the business case refined with assistance from PDC for resubmission," she said.

Dr King said the Shire had admitted elements of the proposal were incomplete.

He said it was necessary to work through the process "with due diligence" to ensure a complete design was reached before any funds were released by cabinet.

"We will continue to work in partnership with the Shire and Rio Tinto," he said.

"We are very supportive of the project … it is a great benefit to Paraburdoo."

Mrs White did not foresee the revision causing any major delays in the project.

"The Shire and stakeholders are aiming to undertake the review work in the next six to eight weeks," she said,

"If the expectations of all stakeholders, PDC, Department of Regional Development, Treasury and Cabinet can be met, then funding can be finalised and construction commenced by the end of 2014."

The Shire is hoping to receive at least $7 million funding from the PDC, which would require the Shire to loan $1.5 million, causing a rate revenue increase of 1.92 per cent, which Mrs White said would "be broadly across all ratepayer groups".

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