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  • RDA Pilbara

A new airline, meaningful meetings on country and Pilbara kids starring in the city

Each week, RDA Pilbara compiles a weekly wrap of news that's important to industries and communities in the region and also the highlights of our activities on the ground.

Read on for what's been happening from July 7 to July 14.

RDA attends YMAC On-Country Bush Meeting

RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson was greatly honoured to attend this week's annual Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) Yule River On-Country Bush Meeting.

Tony was very grateful for the opportunity to hear position statements raised by the Elders and Emerging Leaders, alongside other key stakeholders - including Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles, Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, State Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tony Buti and Senator for Western Australia Dorinda Cox.

Tony also enjoyed the chance to catch up with Elder Alfred Barker and Robby Chibawe MBA from Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service.

Many thanks to YMAC for the invite and the chance to be part of important dialogue.

New airline lands in the Pilbara for the first time Tony was also on hand at Karratha Airport during the week for a piece of history when the the first Nexus Airlines plane landed.

Nexus will offer flights between Geraldton and Karratha, another first that will help link industries and communities in the Pilbara to those in the Mid West.

In addition to Perth-Geraldton and Karratha-Geraldton routes, Nexus will fly between Karratha and Port Hedland, and Port Hedland and Broome, increasing connectivity through WA's North West.

We're grateful to the WA Government for their support of the State's newest airline and to everyone else who worked to make this possible.

It's unclear whether cupcakes will be available on Nexus flights but based on the ones that marked this week's milestone, we wouldn't say "no!"

Pilbara kids doing the region proud We mentioned them last week in our wrap of local news but what a delight it was to pick up The West Australian and read about two promising pacemen from the Pilbara!

It's not every day that two cricketers from our region progress to the highest level of State representation but Josh Vernon and Mahli Beardman are clearly headed for big things.

We can only hope that future Ashes series might feature two of our own.

Exciting quoll news on the Burrup There's still data to be gathered and research to be undertaken but it was great to learn this week that the endangered Marrjaru (northern quoll) may have established a population on the Burrup.

Depictions of quolls are among the famous pieces of artwork in Murujuga National Park but there may be as few as 100,000 of them left nationally, with feral and domestic cats one of the threats to them.

We look forward to further updates from Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation on the possibility of a local quoll population.

Calling all truckies! Fatigue and road safety are key issues for rural areas like the Pilbara, where heavy vehicles are an integral part of the road environment.

The Federal Government, through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, is making funding available for upgrading and constructing dedicated heavy vehicle rest areas via the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Bridges Renewal Program.

State and local governments are now able to apply for funding, and truck drivers and road users are being invited to fill out a survey to provide input on the location and condition of existing rest areas and advice on where additional facilities may be required.

Learn more about applying for funding:

To take the survey, simply scan the QR code below...

Pilbara front of mind for defence stakeholders Pleasing to see the Pilbara front-of-mind in the thoughts of key defence industry stakeholders - as reflected by the 17 times our region is mentioned in the 2022-23 edition of the WA Defence Review.

RDA Pilbara, along with nine local governments, is a member of the North West Defence Alliance, which advertised in the publication.

The North West of WA is home to some of Australia's biggest industries and export hubs and it's vital that the Pilbara and neighbouring regions have a security presence that reflects that significance.

In the local press... Back to where we left off last week with some of the interesting stories that emerged from local news outlets.

Congratulations, first of all, to Port Hedland's Henry Lockyer, who not only was the recipient of a 2023 NAIDOC Award but also has been appointed an Aboriginal adviser by the Department of Justice.

An important appointment and one in which we're sure Henry will make significant contributions. Read more:

Meanwhile, it was hard not to get excited when we read on the ABC Pilbara website that a white humpback whale calf had been sighted with its mother off Ningaloo Reef.

As the photos in the story reflect, a truly breathtaking bit of natural beauty.

Away from the animal kingdom, the Pilbara News reported that Pannawonica would become the first town in the State to be serving Starbucks coffee - and that other local mining towns potentially may follow.

Who said you have to go to a major city to try new things? Read more:

Back to our running man Some very pleasing news in our weekly update on Guy Schweitzer and his incredible quest to run from Port Hedland to Brisbane: he's now entered Queensland and is more than half-way through his journey.

Headed into the weekend, Guy was looking forward to a pub meal, a shower and a day off to watch the camel races in Boulia - an area perhaps best known for sightings of the Min Min Lights. Guy actually encountered a natural phenomena of his own this week, sighting his first live kangaroo in more than six weeks on the road.

Guy is a director of MGN Civil, which worked on the Spoilbank Marina project, from where he set out in late May.

You can follow Guy on Facebook at Home Run:

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