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  • RDA Pilbara

Supplier awards, significant aviation news and DAMA expansion

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 March 28 to April 12. 


Pilbara businesses recognised at Rio Tinto supplier awards  RDA Pilbara Chair Nerida Kickett and CEO Tony Simpson enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Rio Tinto Supplier Recognition Awards on Thursday March 11. 


The event was a great opportunity to catch up with a wide range of stakeholders – including WA Premier Roger Cook – and celebrate the interaction between local businesses and one of the Pilbara’s major employers. 


Those businesses and our communities are essential to supporting Rio Tinto’s operations and, it’s very much a reciprocal relationship. Like other major resources companies, Rio Tinto invests heavily in Pilbara communities. 


Congratulations to the following local businesses who were recognised on the night: 


  • Local Engagement winner – MundaMurra 

  • Environmental Sustainability – Camco Engineering 

  • WA Supplier of the Year – Monadelphous 


Significant aviation news for the Pilbara  Well done to the Shire of East Pilbara on the successful official opening of the upgraded Marble Bar Airport during the week.  


The completion of the upgrade is a significant milestone and represents many years of hard work and planning. We look forward to seeing the benefits enjoyed by the local community and associated businesses, with increased tourism opportunities likely to be one spin-off of the project. 


The opening came during a week in which RDA Pilbara released a very interesting report on flight data and visitor movements into the region. 


Compiled by Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting, the data tracks aviation data into the Pilbara and where people on those flights likely reside. 


It’s a very detailed and insightful report and it shows that hundreds of people from outside WA fly into the Pilbara each day, with Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria being prime points-of-origin. 


As RDA Pilbara CEO Tony Simpson noted in an article in the Pilbara News, the data can help make a cause for having flights from major city centres elswhere in Australia (and perhaps beyond) connecting directly with the Pilbara. 


Access the full report: 


DAMA launched in East Pilbara  The RDA Pilbara team was thrilled over the past fortnight to have the opportunity to travel to Newman for the launch of the Pilbara’s Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) in the Shire of East Pilbara.   Since its launch in Karratha and Port Hedland in early 2022, the DAMA occupation list has grown to 135 roles and the initiative has resulted in 634 people being endorsed to work in the Pilbara. 


Expanding its reach into the East Pilbara and, at the same time, extending the occupations it covers is an exciting development that will help local businesses find people for hard-to-fill roles, unlocking  wide-ranging productivity benefits and adding even more diversity to our multicultural communities.   Read more:  Learn more about the Pilbara DAMA:


Karratha Country Club shines on the State stage  Some fantastic recent news for Karratha Country Club, with recognition as the Regional Facility of the Year at the annual Golf WA Industry Awards. 

Karratha CC was recognised for a standout 2023, which included a 61 per cent increase in revenue and a membership increase of 73 per cent, while spending $430,000 on improvements to the course and facilities. 


The award is a testament to the club's hard work and commitment to upgrade the course to resort-standard and also strong collaboration with the City of Karratha. 


Big milestone for Indigenous-led clean energy project  The Yindjibarndi Energy Corporation (YEC) marked a major milestone this week, with registration of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement by the National Native Title Tribunal. 


YEC – a partnership between the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and international renewable energy specialists ACEN - plans to develop, construct and operate up to 3GW of wind, solar and battery storage across Yindjibarndi Ngurra (country). 

Rare moles found and photographed by Aboriginal rangers in the Pilbara desert  A delightful furry tale has emerged from the Western Desert over the past fortnight, with the cataloguing of rare marsupial moles – known as kakarratul – by Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) Martu rangers. 


The discovery, which was profiled in an excellent ABC Pilbara story, was an extremely rare one given the moles are usually only witnessed five to 10 times a decade and that their faces are rarely seen. 


They don’t have eyes but boast large, strong forearms and claws that allow them to quickly dive under the sand and "swim" deep into the sand dunes. 





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