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  • RDA Pilbara

New industry for the Pilbara, end of an Island era and Port Hedland recognised

Each week, RDA Pilbara compiles a weekly 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 June 9 to June 16.

Railcar manufacturing comes to the Pilbara

There was some fantastic news this week with confirmation that railcar wagons for Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations would be constructed in WA under a partnership with Gemco Rail.

The delivery of 100 wagons this decade will not only include manufacturing at Gemco’s Forrestfield headquarters but also a new Karratha facility, which is expected to be up and running and supporting local jobs by 2024.

The project has been made possible through funding from the WA Government’s Local Manufacturing Investment Fund.

RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson was on hand for the announcement at the 7 Mile Rail Division, alongside Rio Tinto's Richard Cohen, Dean Draper from Engenco Limited (which includes Gemco) and City of Karratha Deputy Mayor Kelly Nunn.

Decommissioning work complete on Thevenard Island

An important milestone this week for Chevron Australia with the completion of decommissioning work on Thevenard Island off Onslow.

Originally explored in the late 1960s, Thevenard began producing oil in 1989 and churned out around 150 million barrels until operations ceased in 2014.

Since then Chevron has been working hard plugging wells, dismantling and removing a wide range of equipment and infrastructure and also undertaking rehabilitation work with local partners.

According to the ABC, there are high hopes the island can emerge as a tourist hot spot.

Busy times for RDA Pilbara

It’s been a busy week for Tony and the RDA Team, starting with High Tea organised by ReachUs Pilbara to raise funds for cancer support services.

The turnout supporting the event was terrific and we were delighted to be able to sponsor it.

Similarly, we’re very grateful for the chance to contribute as a key stakeholder to a Regional Planning Workshop run during the week by Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

RDA Pilbara was also represented at Wednesday night’s Business After Hours in Karratha hosted by Grow Local Program at The Shelf.

It’s always great to see local businesses of a variety of shapes and sizes getting together to network and discuss common challenges and opportunities.

Port Hedland recognised in regional awards

Congratulations to the Town of Port Hedland on its recent win at the Leisure Australia WA Awards of Excellence.

The Town’s South Hedland Youth Placemaking Program – in partnership with Team Town Movement and RAC WA – was recognised for Best Regional Industry Contribution.

The Youth Placemaking Program, part of the South Hedland Place Plan, created opportunities for young people to work with industry experts, artists and traditional owners to reimagine the South Hedland Town Centre and lead a placemaking project to reshape the public realm.

The results included a curated a 40-metre road mural along Wise Terrace that expressed their local stories and connection to Country,

Running (and running) on plenty Last week on social media we brought you the story of Guy Schweitzer, director of MGN Civil Pty Ltd (the company completing bulk earthworks on the Spoilbank Marina) and his quest to run from Port Hedland to Brisbane.

Guy’s novel method of travel and a route that will take him through Marble Bar, Telfer, Alice Springs, the Simpson Desert, Birdsville and Innamincka proved such a hit that we figured we best keep providing updates.

The slight bit of bad news is that Guy had to make an unscheduled stop in Kunawarritji for some medical care. The good news is that he was soon back out on the road again and is making good progress in his marathon journey.

We can’t tell you precisely where he is but he’s passed the 1000km-mark in his 4000km-plus journey, regularly clocking up 60km days and seeing quite a few camels.

You can follow Guy’s journey on the Home Run Facebook page:

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