The Town of Port Hedland plans to use proceeds from BHP Billiton’s approved proposal to construct a large temporary workers’ accommodation facility in the town to fund its key Spoilbank Marina precinct development and airport redevelopment.
Mayor Kelly Howlett said the council had identified the opportunity to progress two of its top priority projects during negotiations.
She said $40 million from the income received under the lease proposal in year one would be contributed towards developing the Spoilbank precinct.
A further $40 million, due to come in over the next three years, would be used towards the airport redevelopment.
In addition, a 33-lot subdivision on airport land, which will be used for big-box retail, will be created by BHP Billiton.
“This is a great outcome for the residents of Port Hedland – the decision reflects our commitment to listening to the community and stakeholders and responding to their feedback,” Ms Howlett said.
“These big-box retail lots will provide council with land to attract large retail outlets to Port Hedland, which will be like our Osborne Park.
“One of the main concerns of the community and council is the effect of fly-in, fly-out (workers) on the local community, so we have sought commitment from state government to mitigate the impacts of FIFO and address the issue of key worker housing.”
The new money identified for the Spoilbank precinct follows a $125 million hotel and residential project announced for the site by property developer Mirvac in August last year.
The 178-room, $50 million hotel will cover 1.58 hectares of vacant land adjacent to the old Port Hedland hospital on oceanfront land on Sutherland Street.
The hotel will include a fine-dining restaurant, bar, cafe and function space, as well as conference facilities, a gym, a guest pool and extensive gardens.
Mirvac also plans to construct 116 residential dwellings in addition to the hotel development, at a cost of $75 million.
BHP Billiton was given the go-ahead to construct a 4,000-room camp on a 10-year lease, with one five-year option, after its initial 6,000-room proposal was knocked back by the town and the government`.
The company has also committed to construct 1,000 houses for its operational workforce over the next five years.