IT doesn't take a very dark sense of humour to speculate on the potential impact had something nasty occurred on a particular Skywest charter on Friday.
IT doesn’t take a very dark sense of humour to speculate on the potential impact had something nasty occurred on a particular Skywest charter on Friday.
Taking to the skies was a significant slice of state’s political influence, led by Premier Colin Barnett and Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls. They were hosting some of the state’s major business leaders on the one-day trip to the north-west towns of Port Hedland, Karratha and Dampier.
As captains of industry went, the property industry was definitely best represented among the party of 80 people.
Among them were Dick Lester of Lester Group, Nigel Satterley from Satterley Group, Luke Saraceni of Saracen Properties, Paul Sadlier from Cedar Woods, Dale Alcock from Alcock Brown-Neaves Group, Hawaiian chief Russell Gibbs, Kari Rummukainen from Broad, Hanssen founder Gerry Hanssen, Richard Fulcher of Australand, Graham McArthur from Stockland, and Nick Di Latte from Diploma.
Those are just the ones this correspondent identified first hand. A host of other property leaders were supposed to be on board.
Thought to taking the flight were leading players from BGC, Brookfield Multiplex, Finbar, Doric, Grocon, Delfin Lend Lease, National Lifestyle Villages, Nomad Building, Rapley Wilkinson, Auzcorp, Pindan, Peet, Ascot Capital and Cape Bouvard Investments.
And of course, there were key players from the state such as Ross Holt, head of LandCorp, and Gary Prattley, chair of the WA Planning Commission.
The predominance of property players, supplemented with the likes of Woodside Petroleum CEO Don Voelte and BHP Billiton Iron Ore CEO Ian Ashby, was not an accident.
The high-profile trip coincided with myriad announcements on development opportunities in the north-west, many of which will go nowhere if the property sector doesn’t come to party and take on the challenge that the region offers to their sector.
Also well represented were the key industry groups of the state.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA CEO James Pearson, Chamber of Minerals and Energy CEO Reg Howard-Smith, and Urban Development Institute CEO Debra Goostrey were all in attendance on the 7am flight to Port Hedland, the first stop in what can only be described as a whistle stop tour of the Pilbara.
A notable absentee was Brandrill CEO Ken Perry, one of the most vocal backers of the Pilbara City concept to drive big urban development in the north-west.
Apart from two speech-laden functions at South Hedland and Dampier, the entourage was taken on extensive tours of the land development opportunities near these centres – seeing a little of what was already under way and lot of the open spaces signposted for future use.
On the ground the touring party separated into two tour coaches. For the mischievously minded, that mitigated the risk to the state significantly.