BHP revises Port Hedland FIFO camp

BHP Billiton has revised its proposal for fly-in fly-out accommodation in Port Hedland after locals rejected its initial plan earlier this year.

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BHP Billiton has revised its proposal for fly-in fly-out accommodation in Port Hedland after locals rejected its initial plan earlier this year.

BHP previously proposed a 6,000-person camp be built near Port Hedland airport to accommodate construction workers for its Outer Harbour Development.

The company’s new plan is for an initial 2,000 workers with the option for an extra 2,000.

The lease on the land has also been reduced to ten years with a five-year extension instead of the initial 25 years.

BHP said it had listened to community feedback in devising the new plan, which it estimates will boost Port Hedland’s coffers by more than $200 million over the first ten years.

WA regional development minister Brendon Grylls said in a statement the new proposal was closer to the Government’s ideal of having people live and work in the region.

"We want to reduce the impact of FIFO on the communities of the Pilbara, and BHP Billiton has clearly considered this when revising the plan," he said.

If it receives full approval the Outer Harbour Development will make Port Hedland the largest tonnage port in the world and require a massive construction workforce.

The company said it would need workers for the entire life of the development, as well as opening more temporary jobs that would operate for a matter of weeks or months.

BHP also has plans to develop 33 lots of commercial land near Port Hedland airport that would be available to retailers.

The move is an effort to free up space and encourage new businesses to open in town, where commercial space rents at a premium.

Earlier this month BHP was named as the preferred company to develop over 2.5 hectares of land in South Hedland.

The project was also an effort to develop a vibrant community in Port Hedland and ease housing shortages.

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