- Region well placed to ride out economic changes, Port Hedland forum told
- State Government supporting ongoing development of region
The Pilbara is set to maintain its economic growth by taking advantage of natural strengths such as agriculture, aquaculture and tourism, as well as its mineral resources, according to State Development Minister Bill Marmion.
Mr Marmion today told more than 200 business, community and government representatives at the Hedland Economic and Resources Forum in Port Hedland that the Pilbara region remained vital to the State's economy. It had a gross regional product of more than $17 billion in 2013 - four times what it was a decade ago.
"While the Pilbara is in the midst of an economic adjustment due to the decline in commodity prices, the growth in its economic base over the past decade means the region is well positioned to ride out these changes," he said.
"Between 2005 and 2015, more than 10,000 new residents moved to Port Hedland and Karratha, adding their skills and expertise to local industries. As of March this year, the Pilbara's unemployment rate of three per cent was still well below the State average, highlighting the resilience of this region's economy."
The Minister said the State Government had actively supported the ongoing development of the Pilbara, including through Royalties for Regions and the $1.7 billion Pilbara Cities initiative.
"The recent State Budget included a raft of funding for initiatives to support the continuing growth of the Pilbara economy and ensure services are provided across the community," he said.
"This includes $183.9 million for the Karratha Health Campus, $49.7 million for the Newman Health Service Redevelopment Project and $2 million for the East Pilbara Innovation Centre, along with funding for arts and water initiatives."
- The Pilbara region generated $69.5 billion of mineral and petroleum sales in 2015
- The annual Hedland Economic and Resources Forum is hosted by the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce