Fortescue Metals Group has opened the first of 250 environmentally friendly houses being built in Port and South Hedland.
Details of the Fortescue Housing Trust’s plans to encourage home ownership, and therefore Pilbara permanency, among its employees were also released at the opening ceremony.
Fortescue Executive Director Operations Graeme Rowley said the house construction project and home ownership plan were an integral part of the company’s push to create a permanent workforce in the Pilbara, and to avoid socially destabilising Fly-in Fly-Out work arrangements wherever possible.
“The Pilbara is Fortescue’s home and we are encouraging our employees and their families to call the Pilbara home too,” Rowley said.
“Hedland will benefit from stable, permanent population growth, our employees will benefit from being able to live with their families where they work and Fortescue will benefit from a happy and stable workforce.”
As construction of the houses is progressively completed the homes will be made available for rent at nominal rates to the company’s Port Hedland rail, port and community relations employees.
The Fortescue Housing Trust’s Hedland home ownership scheme will then encourage employees to take an option to purchase which enables long-term employees to purchase their houses at attractive, pre-agreed rates.
The homes have been designed to advance environmental sustainability, through the adoption and installation of energy and water efficient designs and systems.
Acoustic designs for wall construction and sound locks have been included in the buildings, together with the special door seals.
Black-out window shutters will also simulate complete darkness for sleeping during shift work.