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  • Writer's picturePeter Long

From the RDA Pilbara Deputy Chair - June 2024

May and June always feel like a couple of the busiest and most productive months on the Pilbara calendar.

Over the past five weeks we’ve observed both the State and Federal Budgets, celebrated the 100th endorsement of a business under the Pilbara Designated Area Migration Agreement, attended the launch of a fabulous edition of the Jury Art Prize in Port Hedland and participated in another very successful KDCCI Karratha Careers Expo.

We also had the privilege of being part of the celebrations for the Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 20th anniversary. A great milestone for an organisation that does so much for local businesses and communities and a testament to the tireless work of CEO (and RDA Pilbara Committee Member) Chantelle King and her team.

Excitingly, we’re now also a little less than four weeks away from one of the biggest annual events in our region: the Pilbara Summit.

As always, the Summit will draw key stakeholders from near and far for meaningful dialogue about the future of our region. I can’t think of too many other regional events where the speaking program includes the Ambassadors of Norway and France and the US Consul General to WA, alongside local Traditional Owners and First Nations leaders.

To have such diversity of representation from industry, government, Pilbara communities and partnering organisations speaks volumes for the evolution of both the Summit and the region that it focuses on.

It’s only a few short years ago that we saw the Pilbara Summit being held in Perth. Now it’s in Karratha, bringing visitors to our region, where they can see first-hand both the opportunities and challenges involved with the development of the Pilbara.

From an RDA Pilbara perspective, it’s pleasing to once again see the Summit agenda placing a focus on Traditional Owner engagement and the creation of resilient, thriving and diverse communities.

Evolution, growth and development of industry will naturally be central to the Pilbara’s story over the next few decades.

But none of this can occur in a vacuum. We need to see genuine partnerships with Traditional Owners and First Nations people and a strong commitment from industry (and other stakeholders) to healthy and sustainable Pilbara communities.

I look forward to discussing all of this with Summit attendees – both locals and visitors – in a few weeks’ time.

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