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Pilbara tourism wins, Onslow water and Top Guns in town

RDA Pilbara regularly 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.

Read on for what's been happening from November 3 to November 17.

Big tourism wins for the Pilbara

There was some great recognition for the Pilbara tourism industry at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards in Perth last weekend.

Foremost among that was Clinton Walker and the team at Ngurrangga Tours, who not only received a Gold Medal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Experiences but also received the biggest award of the night, the David Brand Award (for which all winners were eligible).

It was a fantastic all-round result for the Pilbara, with Summerstar Tourist Parks Tom Price winning Gold for Caravan & Holiday Parks and Nexus Airlines, which started flying to the Pilbara in July, being judged the best New Tourism Business.

Tourism is sometimes overlooked amid other Pilbara industries - at least from those looking on from afar - but it makes absolutely vital contributions to local economies and communities.

Ammonia bunkering emerges as new industry opportunity

It was very encouraging to learn this past fortnight that ammonia is emerging as a very real option for future use as a clean shipping fuel for the Pilbara.

A study undertaken by classification society Lloyd’s Register – commissioned by Yara Pilbara and Pilbara Ports – has shown that ship-to-ship bunkering of ammonia could be performed at anchorage at both Dampier and Port Hedland.

Given that the Pilbara already produces ammonia at a globally significant scale and that the Pilbara’s ports are some of the busiest and the best in the world, it seems like a perfect match.

Celebrating Onslow’s new water project

RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson had the pleasure of being in Onslow this week for the launch of the Onslow Desalination Plant project.


Tony caught up with the Water Corporation’s Sharon Broad and Tony McClure from desalination specialists Guidera O’Connor and heard more about a project that will help deliver Onslow’s water security.

Scheduled to be finished by the end of 2025, the project will include a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant, intake and outfall pipelines at Beadon Bay, a water tank and pumping station and a 2.9km below-ground pipeline to tanks, which will then connect to Onslow’s water supply.


I feel the need, the need...for the Pilbara?!

It’s not every day that you have the Top Guns in town – but that’s what played out last week when two F-35A fighter jets staged a flyover of the Pilbara.

Dampier, Karratha schools, Roebourne and Wickham were all on the flight path, giving local kids a thrilling look at some of the Royal Australian Airforce’s most high-tech hardware.


Adults also enjoyed the chance to see the jets up close at Karratha Airport.

Telstra unveils new Pilbara investment

Telecommunications is a critical subject for all regional communities but especially ones that are far away from capital cities, such as the Pilbara.

It was very positive to learn this week about Telstra’s plans to spend $24 million expanding its fibre footprint in the Pilbara, providing around 165km of new fibre for use by its customers.

The ability to access and share data grows more important by the day and is absolutely fundamental to the futures of businesses and communities in our region.

Proud to the support the Western Jilya Institute RDA Pilbara was delighted to support the recent Westerman Jilya Institute for Indigenous Mental Health Fundraising Gala - with deputy chair John Lally OAM and his wife Lyn representing us on the night.

The event raised funds for Indigenous suicide prevention, which is a key issue for our Pilbara communities. RDA Pilbara is proud to be a sponsor of the Jilya Institute and play a small part in helping them undertake very important work in regional and remote Australia.


A great opportunity at an RDA Pilbara partners The Healing Hearts = Strong Kids Program, a fantastic community initiative that RDA Pilbara is proud to support, is currently looking for a Project Assistant. If you have a passion for training delivery, a strong local knowledge and understanding of the local workforce and, most of all, a desire to make a difference in the community, please consider applying.


More details: https://bit.ly/49sf3dM

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