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  • Writer's pictureNerida Kickett

From the RDA Pilbara Chair - March 2024

The past couple of weeks have been great reminders of both the national and international importance of the Pilbara as a region.

Two weeks ago we had the Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, on the Burrup for the Pilbara Hydrogen Hub announcement.

The finalisation of a $140 million Federal and State agreement to build the hub is extremely significant at a regional level. The hub will bring new revenue and industry to the Pilbara, support an estimated 1000 direct and indirect jobs and involve partnerships with the First Nations people on whose traditional lands the project will take shape.

But the impact will stretch far beyond our regional shores. The world – and particularly our neighbours in Asia – needs more clean energy if global net zero is to be achieved. The Pilbara, with our skilled workers, existing industrial capacity and suitability for renewable energy, is perfectly positioned to provide it.

In turn, clean energy projects in the Pilbara can help grow economic diversity and ensure prosperity and positive social outcomes flow through to all of our communities.

Last week RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson was in Canberra, meeting with key departmental figures from the Federal Government and Minister for Regional Development, Kristy McBain.

Again, it’s another pointer towards the relevance of the Pilbara. Ministers realise how important our region is to the country and they seek out insight into how the Pilbara is shaping up as we enter a new era of energy transition and digital transformation.

For RDA Pilbara, in-person engagement in Canberra is a great opportunity to grow awareness of the challenges and opportunities being experienced by our communities, business and industries.

We’re fortunate to be directly involved with a range of development initiatives in the Pilbara and we also have regular opportunities to network and engage with a wide range of stakeholders from right around our region.

It is their concerns, issues, hopes, goals and dreams that we raise with policy makers in Canberra as they make plans to support the Pilbara’s future.

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 (including what was fortunately mostly a near miss with ex-Tropical Cyclone Lincoln over the past fortnight).

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.


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