The Nationals WA have taken the Karratha community’s fight against a new 700-bed FIFO camp to the floor of State Parliament.
Leader Mia Davies moved a motion in the Legislative Assembly this evening to condemn the McGowan Government for rubber-stamping Woodside’s proposal to build a camp at Bay Village against the community’s wishes.
A City of Karratha survey of 750 people earlier this year found 78 per cent of respondents did not want the new camp built.
“On the day the camp was approved, the Member for Pilbara stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Premier and Woodside and told the media it was ‘the best day of his life’,” Ms Davies said.
“The approval of a FIFO camp in the heart of a major regional centre is no reason to celebrate. It’s a big dirty stain on Labor’s regional development credentials.”
The motion comes after the Premier earlier refused to confirm whether the Government had sought a guarantee from Woodside that only construction workers employed to work on new projects would reside in the camp.
The Premier’s June 1 media statement read: “Bay Village will be a state-of-the-art accommodation facility to house workers during upgrade works at the Karratha Gas Plant, expansion of the Pluto plant, and during construction phases at the proposed Scarborough and Browse developments.”
“The Premier would not say if protections would be in place to ensure Woodside will not pull operational staff out of company homes or other existing camps and put them into Bay Village,” Ms Davies said.
“But we already know that Woodside are in discussions to downsize their requirements at existing Karratha accommodation facilities.
“The Premier would not say if existing Karratha businesses will suffer as a result of his decision.”
A Karratha Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry report last year found the Bay Village proposal would lead to a net loss of 69 local jobs, $4.8 million in local incomes and rip $6.6 million per year from the local economy.
Nationals Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell said the Member for Pilbara continued to prove he was an ineffective local representative.
“The Member for Pilbara has made it clear that he will not stand up for the wishes of his community and will simply kowtow to his colleagues in the Perth-dominated Labor partyroom,” she said.
“In the absence of an effective local member, The Nationals will stand up for Karratha and the Pilbara at large.”