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  • RDA Pilbara

DAMA Expansion, Spoilbank celebrations and a cricket spotlight

Each week, RDA Pilbara 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.  


This is the first installment of 2024 and includes content from the final fortnight of last year, as well as what’s been happening so far in January. 


DAMA expansion approved for the Pilbara  The New Year has kicked off on an exciting note for the Pilbara and local businesses, with confirmation from the Department of Home Affairs that the region’s Designed Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) would be expanded to include the Shire of East Pilbara and the associated occupation list extended by a further 69 occupations. 

This is a great result for Pilbara businesses seeking to attract skilled workers for in-demand positions amid a continued skills shortage. It will also bring new families into our communities from diverse backgrounds. 

RDA Pilbara is proud to manage the DAMA and we look forward to the expansion/extension delivering positive outcomes for the Pilbara. 

In order to keep refining the DAMA and the way it interacts with businesses, we are running a survey to gauge experiences with recruiting and identify occupations that could be added to the list in the future. It can be accessed and filled out here: 

Learn more about the DAMA:  View the DAMA occupation list: 

All systems go at Spoilbank boat ramp  On the topic of exciting news, RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson was delighted to attend the official opening of the Spoilbank Marina boat ramp last weekend. 

A big crowd gathered in Hedland for the eagerly awaited moment and fittingly, it was Marine Rescue Port Hedland – an organisation that provides priceless and tireless community service – that launched the first boat down the ramp. 

Spoilbank Marina is a game-changer for recreational boating in Hedland and we look forward to seeing the $187.5 million project continue to roll out through the rest of this year. It’s expected to be fully complete by the end of 2024. 

It’s one of a number of major marine projects currently being managed by Pilbara Ports, including the development of a new multi-user facility and logistics hub at Lumsden Point to facilitate battery material exports, the import of renewable energy infrastructure including wind turbines and blades and support the growth of direct shipping services to the Pilbara. The project’s east seawall was completed in November, with a west seawall expected to be finished in March. 

Pilbara Ports is also managing the Dampier Cargo Wharfs Project, which will deliver a new bulk handling facility, a link bridge and a refurbished cargo wharf. Construction is scheduled to start this year. 

WPC4C funding applications open  Funding applications are now open for the 2024/2025 West Pilbara Communities for Children (WPC4C) Initiative, another very important program for our region of which RDA Pilbara is the facilitating partner.   WPCFC aims to create child-friendly communities and healthy young families in our region, while supporting family and parents, early learning and school transition and engagement.  If you think your organisation can contribute to these goals, please give consideration to applying via the form at the link below.   There is more than $1.1 million in funding available and applications will remain open until 5pm on 18 February.   Learn more about the WPC4C Initiative:  Apply for 2024/2025 WPC4C funding: 

Young cricketing gun reflects on Pilbara start It was great to start 2024 on a positive sporting note for the Pilbara, reading about Josh Vernon’s recollections of his early cricketing journey in Dampier.

In an excellent story by the ABC, the 18-year-old Australian junior cricket representative and WA rookie recalled the unique landscape at Windy Ridge Oval and credited growing up and playing in the Pilbara heat with giving him an edge on the field.  "You have this amazing golden, red-pink sunset setting over the ocean in front of a stack of palm trees that rolls straight onto the beach,” he reflected of his Dampier cricket days. 

"You stand at the non-striker's end watching cricket — you turn around and this amazing sunset is going on." 


Read the full story: 


In other cricket news, congratulations to the West Pilbara 2 and 3 teams which both claimed titles at the annual Country Week tournament in Perth recently. 

Country Week is always a fabulous occasion in any sport and made even better when you take home the chocolates! 


Woodside and Pilbara Minerals link up with new deal  Finally, a piece of news from late in 2023 that caught our eye and which will see two major operators in our region - Woodside Energy and Pilbara Minerals Limited - enter into a significant collaboration.   Under the deal, LNG will be sent from the Pluto terminal to the Pilgangoora Operation, where it will replace diesel-fuelled power generation. 

It’s another demonstration of the importance of LNG produced in the Pilbara for energy transition, locally, statewide and also for customers overseas. 


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