Unprecedented growth in the Pilbara region looks set to continue according to new population projections from the Pilbara Industry's Community Council.
The projections, commissioned by PICC and undertaken by economic consultant Mike Waller of Heuris Partners, present a picture of the direct and multiplier impacts on Pilbara employment and population growth out to the year 2020 as a result of planned and potential resources projects in the region.
According to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia chief executive, Reg Howard-Smith, the population measure normally used for service planning in Australia is based on place of usual residence, or the estimated resident population (ERP).
"For rapidly growing areas, such as the Pilbara, where there are large numbers of transient workers with different employment arrangements, the ERP data need to be supplemented with other information," said Mr Howard-Smith.
"The projections provide the best available data for government and industry on required planning and resource implications of Pilbara's likely growth."
Included in the projections is a doubling of total resource related employment to 30,000 from 2015; residential employment to grown from 10,000 to 15,000 in 2015 and fly-in, fly-out workers to gron from 5000 to 17,000 by 2015.
Applying multiplier assumptions to the resident employment numbers, Pilbara's population could reach over 45,000 by 2010 and exceed 50,000 by 2015
Meanwhile the total population, combining resident, FIFO and construction, drawing on different levels and types of services across the region could rise from over 60,000 in 2009 to above 75,000 by 2012.
PICC is an industry initiative established by CME and partners BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Chevron Australia, Fortescue Metals Group, North West Shelf Venture, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Woodside with a commitment to work in collaboration with the Australian, Western Australian, Local Governments and Pilbara communities.
PICC is looking to broaden the understanding of the implications of major growth in the output of the resources sector on service and infrastructure provision in the Pilbara region.