18/02/2010 - 00:00

BHP boosts Hedland revamp

18/02/2010 - 00:00

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The Town of Port Hedland says its long-running partnership with BHP Billiton Iron Ore could be used as a model for local governments and the private sector to boost revitalisation efforts in the regions.

The Town of Port Hedland says its long-running partnership with BHP Billiton Iron Ore could be used as a model for local governments and the private sector to boost revitalisation efforts in the regions.

As well as being the area’s largest employer, BHP Billiton Iron Ore has embarked on a partnership with the Town of Port Hedland in a strategic agreement to improve the overall perception of Port and South Hedland.

BHP’s initial $500,000 investment in 2004 delivered a new town park and upgraded street amenity through new paving, playground refurbishments, street lighting, greening and shade provision.

Since then, BHP and the Town of Port Hedland have developed a community infrastructure implementation plan, known as Hedland’s Future today: Action Blueprint.

In total, BHP has contributed $15.4 million in investments on Hedland amenity projects that have commenced this year, including a $35 million multi purpose recreation facility, a $3.7 million family park, a $5.1 million youth precinct and $5.3 million in crime prevention and safety initiatives, among others.

LandCorp is also investing and managing $23 million in royalties for regions grants in Port Hedland.

BHP Billiton Iron Ore spokesperson Emma Meade said the partnership plan was designed to address all aspects of the liveability of Port Hedland.

“The initiatives cover all aspects of creating a sustainable community,” she said.

“It provides for safety, health, education, lifestyle and recreational needs in order to create a desirable long-term destination to live, work and play.

“Port Hedland has grown at such a rapid rate that the town services have not been able to keep up.

“BHP Billiton Iron Ore, with the Town of Port Hedland and Government partners, want to make Port Hedland an attractive and long-term destination for work and lifestyle requirements.

“We recognise the pressures the rapid growth of our business has put on the town and we are committed to investing in the future of Port Hedland to make sure it develops in a manner that sustains the community and environment.”

Town of Port Hedland mayor Kelly Howlett told WA Business News the strategic agreement could be applied at other regional communities across the state, as the partnership enabled a more comprehensive delivery of revitalisation initiatives.

“We certainly encourage anyone who has that opportunity to go down that path and we’d be happy to assist any community that would like to go down that path,” Ms Howlett said.

“Through the partnership and the more inherent nature of the engagement there is better ownership and opportunity to realise the full potential of the product.”

Ms Meade agreed that partnership arrangements provide better outcomes for the community, particularly in regional Western Australia.

“Partnering agreements ensure a shared vision, responsibility and commitment to the agreed outcomes,” Ms Meade said.

“They provide win-win benefits and deliver results that create value for all parties involved.

“They bring all the key stakeholders together to ensure a cohesive plan for the future.

“We have developed a great relationship with the Town of Port Hedland and through their farsighted collaborative approach, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, and other partners, are able to help ensure that opportunities are identified and implemented.

“While every community will have its own history, needs and focuses, the partnership approach is the key to cohesive and sustainable community investment programs.”

One of the key concerns in Port Hedland is the lack of lifestyle infrastructure.

To combat this, BHP Billiton Iron Ore is providing $11.5 million to help finance the $35 million multi-purpose recreation centre, which will include a function area and child care centre in addition to the sports and recreation facilities.

“The centre will encourage social interaction, contribute to health and wellbeing, provide programs for all ages and interests and a venue for elite indoor sport,”

“The striking design of the facility will demonstrate a vibrant regional centre and a happier, healthier community.”

BHP Billiton Iron Ore is also engaged in a similar partnership arrangement with the Shire of East Pilbara.

The East Pilbara Sustainability Partnership is focused on delivering across six key areas to create town centre vibrancy; sustainable services; learning and personal development; full spectrum health; and recreation and community pride in Newman.

 

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