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  • Writer's pictureNerida Kickett

From The Chair - July 2024

It's a little hard to believe that more than 50 per cent of 2024 is already behind us but here we are in the first week of July mapping out plans for the second half of the year.

The annual Pilbara Summit was a great event to take us to the mid-year point and I’m sure conversations from it will continue over the weeks and months ahead.

The Summit was again at capacity and brought an impactful group of attendees with true international reach to Karratha. There were quite a few of us Pilbara locals there too!

It’s enormously beneficial for the Pilbara to have such a diverse group of important stakeholders and experts gather in one place. The Summit has a less formal setting than other major events, which helps ensure people from all kinds of backgrounds can get together and talk about what really matters to them.

From my perspective, I was thrilled to spend some time with WA’s Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken and also Australia’s former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel. And I’m always delighted to catch up with one of my personal super heroes in Dr Kate George.

But that’s just a small sample of the many people I spoke to over the Summit’s two days. Talking with a wide range of attendees certainly provided me with much food for thought as RDA Pilbara prepares to tackle the rest of the year.

Many of the major topics of discussion from the Summit are key aspects of the RDA Pilbara agenda. Decarbonisation, genuine partnerships with Traditional Owners, digital transformation, progress on new major projects and infrastructure, and growing liveability of communities are fundamental to the development of our region.

The RDA Pilbara team is strongly committed to holistic development of the Pilbara. We view this as being essential to the sustainability of communities and industries in the Pilbara as they evolve over coming decades.

A strong, strategic focus of our work going forward will be in ensuring there is appropriate investment in the region.

Naturally, this includes investment in industries and economies but it’s equally important that people, places and services are invested in. It’s essential that all people in all parts of the Pilbara have access to services and opportunities that will advance and enhance their lives.

RDA Pilbara will continue to work with a variety of stakeholders inside and outside of our region to help ensure the Pilbara’s unique needs are met, both in the shorter term and for years to come.

The Pilbara Summit was a fantastic reminder that a great many people – both near and far – have a strong interest in the development of our region.

A key to turning potential into reality will be keeping conversations going to highlight both opportunities and challenges in front of the Pilbara.

A collaborative approach is required and RDA Pilbara plans on being at the heart of that.

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