Nationals back Karratha community in new FIFO row

The Nationals have backed the City of Karratha’s objection to a proposal which could see a 1300 bed fly-in, fly-out camp become a permanent fixture in the Pilbara town. 

Fleetwood wants the McGowan Government to grant permanent ownership over a portion of land at the Searipple Village site, which is currently under a temporary lease arrangement until 2022.

The Nationals Leader Mia Davies said FIFO camps were no longer acceptable in major regional centres such as Karratha.

“I congratulate the Karratha council for standing up for their community, it is time for the McGowan Government to make the right decision,” Ms Davies said.  

“The Government must respect the will of the Karratha community and rule out granting Fleetwood freehold tenure.”

The Searipple proposal comes hot on the heels of a separate application by Woodside, currently being considered by the McGowan Government, to build a new 700-bed FIFO camp in Karratha.

Despite vehement opposition from the City of Karratha, the local chamber of commerce and community, Lands Minister Rita Saffioti continues to drag her feet on making a call on the camp. 

“This is a true test of the regional development credentials of the McGowan Government,” Jacqui Boydell, The Nationals Deputy Leader and Member for Mining and Pastoral, said.

“Will the Government back the continued use of donga-style accommodation and the FIFO lifestyle, or will Labor embrace what The Nationals started through the Pilbara Cities initiative and support the continued development of Karratha as a true city of the North.”

Ms Boydell said The Nationals’ position on the matter could not be clearer – no FIFO camps within 60km of a major regional centre in Western Australia.

“Through Royalties for Regions, The Nationals invested billions to create attractive, and liveable communities throughout the State,” Ms Boydell said.

“Sadly, the investments we made and the faith we have shown in these communities continues to be eroded by the Labor Government.

“The regional renaissance The Nationals cultivated is being strangled by the Perth-first McGowan Government.”

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