VISION: Brendon Grylls, who has left the regional development portfolio in cabinet, talked up the merits of developing Pilbara Cities in 2009.

Barnett’s Pilbara cities dream sours

The Pilbara Cities project was launched with high hopes and great fanfare. But now, less than five years later, it is threatening to become yet another drain on the public purse amid questions of special treatment for political donors.


(existing subscribers)

The password field is case sensitive.
Request new password


A Fraser Hobday PO Box 1000 Armadale WA 6992 Dear Editor, I refer to Karratha Pelago development. The primary cause of the state government’s mishandling of this issue is the outrageously high land component Landcorp insists on inflicting on the Pilbara. This in itself warrants the sophistication and additional costs of multistorey development. Laughable when there is empty land for as far as the eye can see. Media reports states that the 13,386 m2 was originally valued by the government at up to $13.6 million. That is over $1015 m2. The reports are critical that it was agreed to supply the land for only $7.04 million. That is $523 per m2. Even at half the government’s initial valuation, the land is significantly overpriced. The only way a private developer can fit in with Landcorp’s ridiculous pricing is to broker a deal with the state government in which round-robin payments and receipts of funds justify the project. The developer pays out to the government’s Landcorp, and receives some funds in return by a guaranteed buyback of units required for state employee housing at an inflated price to justify the excessive land component. Thereby maintaining artificially high pricing for the whole project and local market. The state does not lose in this deal, but the Pilbara community does with ongoing excessive costs of living, reduced services, and loss of small business wishing to invest in the region. If you look at market and Landcorp pricing north and south of the Pilbara, it is a very different story. In some cases Landcorp’s pricing is 3 to 4 times lower in northern towns outside the Pilbara. Additionally we see private developers making a profit selling their developments cheaper after paying for land acquisition, than Landcorp does paying zilch for their land. Yours faithfully, A. Fraser Hobday

Add your comment

Finbar Group (FRI)

Share Price

Closing price for the last 90 trading days
Source: Morningstar

BN30 Index

Index = 100 as of 4 Jan 2016
Source: Morningstar

Total Shareholder Return as at 29/06/18

1 year TSR5 year TSR
304thFinbar Group27%2%
512thJoyce Corporation-7%39%
579thPacific Energy-15%13%
722 WA (and selected non WA) listed companies ranked by 1 year TSR relative to other companies with similar revenue
Source: Morningstar

Share Transactions

$15k Bought
$15k Bought
$15k Bought
Total value as at the date of the transaction
Source: Morningstar


38th↑Finbar Group$125.8m
44th↑Joyce Corporation$81.1m
48th↑Pacific Energy$58.0m
239 listed industrial companies ranked by revenue.
Source: Morningstar

Remuneration from Finbar Group

72ndDarren Pateman$876k
95thJohn Chan$751k
277thRonald Chan$416k
Ranked by total remuneration from all listed WA companies

BNiQ Disclaimer