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  • RDA Pilbara

Summit shines spotlight on Pilbara of today and tomorrow

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Each week, RDA Pilbara 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 October 6 to October 13.

Pilbara Summit puts a spotlight on the future It was a very busy and rewarding two days for RDA Pilbara and hundreds of delegates at the Pilbara Summit in Karratha this week.

Events like the Summit are incredibly important for helping map out future pathways for our region, not just locally but also where the Pilbara sits in a State, national and international context. The fact that Norway (through Ambassador Anne Grete Riise) and France (through Kambiz Mohkam, Head of Regional Economic Department, French Embassy) were featured on the speaker list says a lot about how important the Pilbara is to the wider world.

And that importance will remain well into the future – in fact, it will almost certainly grow. One of the Summit’s major focusses was on the emergence of the Pilbara as a globally significant provider of the clean energy the world needs to achieve net zero.

Another significant theme was the importance of Indigenous engagement and Traditional Owner involvement in the projects that will produce this energy. It was great to see Traditional Owners on stage at the Red Earth Arts Precinct speaking of their visions for the future, for their people and communities.

Equally, it was clear from on-stage discussions that the major industries of the Pilbara of today will still have a very important role to play in the region of tomorrow. Hearing about their future plans and they way they will evolve was also of great value.

The Pilbara stands on the cusp of some amazing opportunities. By bringing together so many diverse stakeholders – industry, government, Traditional Owners, telecommunications providers and the defence forces to name but a few – the Summit is integral to conversations that will help turn potential into reality.

For RDA Pilbara, the Summit was an excellent chance to interact with those stakeholders and identify likely opportunities to work together and some of the shared challenges that may present. We also very much enjoyed catching up with the five regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, who work so hard to foster positive business and community outcomes throughout the Pilbara: Karratha Districts CCI, Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pilbara Inland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

We now look forward to the 2024 Pilbara Summit, which will be held on June 26 and 27.

Call for RDA Pilbara Committee nominations Regional Development Australia is calling for leaders to drive regional economic development in the Pilbara. People with commitment to economic development, vision, drive and experience, who are able to foster strong communication between local communities and all levels of government, are encouraged to submit an application.

Women, First Nations Australians, people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and people with disability are encouraged to apply.

Apply for a role as Committee member by 18 October 2023 to join a national network of local people creating local opportunities. Join your RDA:

Green iron in the Pilbara takes another step forward In a well-timed announcement in the days after the Summit, Korean steelmaking giant POSCO and French energy powerhouse ENGIE unveiled a pre-feasibility study around a renewable hydrogen project in the Pilbara.

The study will determine the feasibility of using renewable hydrogen to power POSCO's proposed Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) plant in Port Hedland.

There was a great deal of discussion at the Pilbara Summit about the many ways in which hydrogen will help shape the future of the Pilbara and the POSCO-ENGIE collaboration marks another step forward towards that.

Congratulations to both parties on the announcement of the study, we look forward to seeing the results after it’s completed early next year.

Don’t miss the North West Multicultural Show A final reminder about the North West Multicultural Show, which is being held at the Red Earth Arts Precinct on Saturday October 14.

The cultural diversity of Pilbara communities is one of our biggest selling points as a region and the Multicultural Show is a great opportunity to celebrate that – and to enjoy some wonderful food!.

RDA Pilbara is very proud to be a sponsor.

More details and tickets:

RDA Pilbara AGM October 24 There are now less than two weeks to go until RDA Pilbara's 2023 AGM is held in Karratha - a chance to celebrate achievements of the past year with us, network with fellow professionals and look ahead to the future.

For catering purposes, we request that everyone intending to come along please lets us know by October 20. RSVPs can be sent to Natalie at

RDA Pilbara Grants Hub is now open

A reminder that RDA Pilbara’s Grants Hub is now open and ready to act as a one-stop shop for all local businesses, community groups, not-for-profits and individuals who are considering applying for a grant.

You can see what grants are available, register to receive alerts when new opportunities arise and access tips to help you apply for grants.

The Hub is live and ready to go, so please visit it here:

From Norway to the Burrup Norway’s Ambassador to Australia, Anne Grete Riise, spoke at the Pilbara Summit during the week and also took the time to visit Yara Pilbara's plant on the Burrup Peninsula.

The Norwegian Government is the biggest single shareholder in Yara’s global operations and has a strong commitment to decarbonisation – so it was fitting that its representative in Australia had the opportunity to see progress on Project Yuri, one of the most advanced renewable hydrogen developments in the country.

Immediately after her Pilbara visit, the Ambassador travelled to Perth where she spoke at a major event highlighting Norway’s world-leading carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities. As the Summit identified, CCS is likely to be a major part of the future Pilbara landscape, particularly in relation to decarbonising hard-to-abate industries.

Pilbara Minerals announces new Community Grants plan Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals used its speech at the Pilbara Summit to announce the opening of its new Annual Community Grants Program, which makes grants of up to $10,000 available to support grass-roots community initiatives and events in our region.

The program aims to fund projects and events in Port Hedland, Yandeyarra and Strelley, in addition to Pilbara-wide initiatives that meet the company’s priority areas of education, community resilience and energy transition.

More details and application forms are available at:

WA Government invests in tropical agriculture It was very pleasing to see the WA Government end the week by announcing a significant investment in scientific facilities in Kununurra that will benefit irrigated agriculture and beef production in the Pilbara.

A total of $2.5 million will be provided to upgrade a range of facilities at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Frank Wise Institute of Tropical Agriculture, which is home to the Cropping Enabled Cattle project.

Agriculture and farming is a critical but sometimes overlooked part of the Pilbara’s economic landscape, so this funding boost is a welcome one.

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