Pilbara set for further growth

Unprecedented growth in the Pilbara region looks set to continue according to new population projections from the Pilbara Industry’s Community Council (PICC).

Unprecedented growth in the Pilbara region looks set to continue according to new population projections from the Pilbara Industry’s Community Council (PICC).

The projections, commissioned by PICC and undertaken by economic consultant Mike Waller of Heuris Partners, presents a picture of the direct and multiplier impacts on Pilbara employment and population growth out to the year 2020 as a result of planned and potential resources projects in the region.

According to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith, the population measure normally used for service planning in Australia is based on place of usual residence, or the Estimated Resident Population (ERP).

“For rapidly growing areas, such as the Pilbara, where there are large numbers of transient workers with different employment arrangements, the ERP data need to be supplemented with other information,” Howard-Smith said.

“The projections provide the best available data for government and industry on required planning and resource implications of Pilbara’s likely growth.”

It is projected that the total resource related employment in the Pilbara will grow from some 15,000 to above 30,000 from 2015, while residential employment is expected to grow from 10,000 to 15,000 in 2015.

The number of employees participating in fly-In, fly-Out (FIFO) is projected to grow from 5,000 to potentially 17,000 by 2015 while the total population (combined resident, FIFO and construction) drawing on different levels and types of services across the region could rise from over 60,000 in 2009 to above 75,000 by 2012

“The work reflects invaluable data and comment from both industry and Government and we would like to acknowledge the input provided by the Department of Industry and Resources and the Department of Planning & Infrastructure,” Howard-Smith said.

PICC is an industry initiative established by The Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) and partners BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Chevron Australia, Fortescue Metals Group, North West Shelf Venture, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Woodside with a commitment to work in collaboration with the Australian, Western Australian, Local Governments and Pilbara communities.

PICC is looking to broaden the understanding of the implications of major growth in the output of the resources sector on service and infrastructure provision in the Pilbara region.

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