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The WA Corruption and Crime Commission is investigating allegations of misconduct over BHP Billiton’s plans to add 6,000 extra fly-in-fly-out workers to Port Hedland.
According to The West Australian allegations have been made by a former council member that she was pressured to bypass council processes for BHP’s application.
The CCC said it was conducting a preliminary investigation into the issue, which did not necessarily mean there had been misconduct by council officials.
In a business plan the Town of Port Hedland said it anticipated the 60 hectare camp to have “no adverse effect” on services in town.
Nevertheless the issue has raised the ire of some locals.
Pilbara Labor MP Tom Stephens said the massive influx of workers would put pressure on the town’s already strained infrastructure and destroy Port Hedland’s ability to grow sustainably.
WA Regional Development Minister Brendan Grylls also criticised the plan.
He said the camp was contrary to the Pilbara Cities plan, a long term effort to have people live and work in the North West.
The camp’s lease will cost up to $31 million for an initial ten year term, and would help supply workers for BHP’s massive Pilbara expansions.
The Town of Port Hedland said it planned to use the money gained from the camp to help fund the expansion of its international airport.