New hotel to ease Port Hedland accommodation woes

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Booming Pilbara town Port Hedland could soon see some accommodation relief, with the local council approving a $150 million 650-room hotel and apartment project.

Like many other mining towns in WA and QLD, Port Hedland is struggling to provide affordable accommodation as nearby resources projects rapidly expand.

Rooms in Port Hedland currently hover around $300 a night, and Centauri said its resort-style hotel called The Landing would help ease constricted supply.

According to WAtoday the company has promised to save around 20 per cent of rooms in the hotel for tourism during the peak season.

It said it would begin installing rooms early next year and was aiming to have 240 apartments ready by the middle of the year.

The Landing’s apartments are currently being constructed overseas, while the hotel is scheduled to be built in factories in the eastern states.

Town of Port Hedland CEO Paul Martin said in a statement last week the lack of short-term accommodation in Port Hedland was stifling growth.

“The fact is that right now we can’t proceed with the kinds of projects that will make Port Hedland a more attractive place for families to come and live permanently because we can’t accommodate workers for the required construction projects,” he said.

Martin said the town had been advised by independent experts that Port Hedland’s future was in “peril” unless more was done to solve the accommodation shortage.

Port Hedland is also working to develop a 6000 bed temporary worker accommodation facility.

The Council said the project and its downstream benefits would funnel an extra $200 million to the town and community.

Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett said while transient workforce accommodation developments were unpopular with the community they were necessary for the town’s expansion.

“In some ways it would be easy for the Council to simply refuse all proposals for TWAs – but in doing that – we are simply turning our back on the only realistic, immediate term solution to a major problem that is going to stymie Port Hedland’s sustainable growth,” she said.

Howlett said the temporary accommodation approval came with mandatory requirements for BHP Billiton to address community concerns about worker camps.

Earlier in the year the United Mine Workers Union in NSW said workers didn’t want to live in temporary accommodation.

The union said resources companies and local communities could do more to make mining towns attractive for families on a permanent basis.

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