Pilbara accommodation businesses run by one-time trucking boss Craig Mitchell and the Collinson family are set to be the winners from BHP Billiton’s surprise decision to close Kurra Village in Newman, which at its peak houses up to 1,600 fly-in, fly-out workers
Pilbara accommodation businesses run by one-time trucking boss Craig Mitchell and the Collinson family are set to be the big winners from BHP Billiton’s surprise decision to close Kurra Village in Newman, which at its peak houses up to 1,600 fly-in, fly-out workers
The mining giant’s decision amounts to a big win for Mr Redman, who argued that expanding Kurra Village and extending its lease would be detrimental to the development of Newman as a community.
BHP confirmed today it would relocate employees and contractors from Kurra to third-party and other company-owned accommodation.
The closure will affect up to 500 Fifo operational workers and up to an extra 1,100 Fifo workers during maintenance shutdowns.
“The decision was made following a review that considered the best outcome for our employees, as well as commercial considerations,” BHP said.
“We are pleased to be able to engage a number of local Newman businesses as a result of this decision.”
BHP also plans to trial the use of company-owned flats in the centre of Newman, in addition to continued utilisation of its eco-units.
These facilities do not have common mess or recreational facilities, therefore employees will be provided meal and recreational facility access from local businesses.
“It’s also a great outcome for Newman, it means more integration into the town and the community and means there will be more use of local service providers,” she said.
Ms Robertson said Kalgan’s Rest had 540 accommodation units while Whaleback Village had 430 units.
She said all accommodation providers in Newman had struggled with low occupancy in recent times.
Tribute Group was established in 2002 when Ms Robertson’s parents, Wayne and Betty Collinson, moved to Newman to purchase and develop Whaleback Village, formerly known as Dearlove’s caravan park.
The business expanded in 2004 when it bought Kalgan’s Rest.
“We’ve invested a lot to make these facilities first-class,” Ms Robertson said.
Capricorn Village, with 325 rooms, is owned by Outback Network, which recorded total revenue of $3.6 million for the year to June 2015, according to its latest annual return lodged with ASIC.
The company’s executive chairman is Craig Mitchell, who sold trucking company Mitchell Corp to Toll Holdings in 2011.
Mr Mitchell also chairs Outback Labour Services, which owns and operates four modern roadhouses in northern WA offering fuel plus quality food and retail facilities.
It trades as Outback Travel Centres, Capricorn Bar & Grill, Capricorn Fuel Distributors and Outback Fuel Distributors.
Outback Labour Services latest financial statements show the group had total revenue of $54.8 million for the year to June 2015, primarily from retail fuel sales.
Acure syndicates have acquired 80 per cent of Outback’s Newman and Carnarvon properties and 45 per cent of its Karratha property, and is due to acquire 49 per cent of its Port Hedland property this month.