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Cross-country milestones, funding for Rangers and another step for CCS

RDA Pilbara regularly compiles a 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 March 1 to March 15. 


Important milestones in Broome and Adelaide  The RDA Pilbara team was on the road in the first week of March, for a couple of engagements that highlighted both the regional and national significance of the programs we are involved in. 


Regional Development Officer Natalie Drabble and Committee member Ryley Heap were in Broome for the Australia’s North West 2024 season launch and Tourism Industry Forum. 


With tourism being an integral part of the Pilbara economy, it was great to catch up with other industry stakeholders and hear insights from an expert panel that included Carolyn Turnbull (Tourism WA), Gus Balbontin (formerly of Lonely Planet), Dominic Mehling (Tourism Australia) and Evan Hall (Tourism Council of WA). 


Earlier that week, RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson and Contract and Programs Manager Debbie Johnson were in Adelaide to mark 20 years of the Communities for Children (C4C) program. 


The C4C program has delivered great outcomes for young Australians since its inception and RDA Pilbara is proud to contribute as facilitating partner for the West Pilbara C4C. 


Funding through C4C helps make many programs possible in the Pilbara, delivering long-term benefits for our region and its communities. 

A monthly message from our Chair  We recently launched a redesigned RDA Pilbara monthly newsletter led by a new monthly column from our Chair Nerida Kickett. 


We look forward to hearing more from Nerida each month but here’s a taste of her first article, which touched on the recent joint commitment from the Federal and State to the Pilbara Hydrogen Hub and the positive flow-on impact for all communities from our region’s clean energy opportunities. 


“The Pilbara is a unique place.  We have remarkable resources in the ground and in the people who make up our communities. We also exist in an environment that is often rugged and testing, right down to the weather.  

"RDA Pilbara and other development organisations, with support from all levels of government, are working to ensure our region thrives and is as productive, livable and socially cohesive as possible.” 


Read the full column: 


New funding for Pilbara Ranger groups It was great to see three Pilbara organisations receive funding from the WA Government this week as part of the seventh round of grants from the Aboriginal Ranger Program. 


Kulyakartu Aboriginal Corporation will receive funding for its Kulyakartu Ranger Team, while Wirrawandi Aboriginal Corporation was a recipient for its Ranger Program Development Strategy - Family Conversations. 


Funding received by Jamukurnu-Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation (Western Desert Lands) will go towards the Martu IPA Ranger Program and will be used to purchase vehicles and equipment. 


Aboriginal Rangers do outstanding work looking after their Country in the Pilbara and this funding will enable them to continue to grow their programs. 


 CCS-enabling Bill passes through WA Lower House  A quiet but significant milestone was achieved this week for WA’s nascent carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry, with the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 passing through State Parliament’s Legislative Assembly. 


CCS will be central to the future decarbonisation landscape in WA, for domestic industrial processes and power generation and also likely acting as a receiving destination for emissions captured by neighbouring nations in Asia. 


The Pilbara has some ideal geological features for acting as a CCS hub, a development that would introduce new and significant economic and job-creation opportunities to our region. 


Pilbara represented in Women In Resources Awards  The Pilbara is once again represented among the finalists for the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA’s Women In Resources Awards, the winners of which will be announced on Friday March 22. 


Two Pilbara-based programs are in the running for the Outstanding Company Initiative Award: BHP’s Bamboo Flexible Work Program, which aims to attract and retain women in non-traditional residential roles, and Monadelphous’s Crane Operator Pathway Traineeship Program, which aims to grow female participation in the crane industry. 


Port Hedland-raised Dianne Deegan, who works offshore for Inpex, is a finalist in the Outstanding Operator/Trade Woman category. 


After initially considering a career in theatre and arts in Perth, Dianne returned to Hedland to join the mining industry and has stayed in the sector since – become the first female Aboriginal open crane operator. 


Read more in the Pilbara News: 


Native seed production trials rolling on   Another WA Government announcement that caught our eye this week was focused on the Northern Native Seed Grants program, which supports Aboriginal businesses to develop seed production area trial sites. 


One of the trial sites will be in the Pilbara – perhaps not surprisingly given one of the primary uses for native seeds is to aid restoration of former mine sites. 


It’s an extremely interesting initiative that could deliver significant tangible benefits in the Pilbara, both for local Aboriginal enterprises and the rehabilitation work being undertaken by industry. 


The Pilbara Development Commission is managing a Northern Native Seed Industry Development Initiative.  


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