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Population growth, underpinned by economic diversification, will be key to the prosperity of the Pilbara’s future according to a report released for public comment by the Pilbara Development Commission today.
The vision of the Pilbara Regional Investment Blueprint sets a target population of 200,000 people living in modern and attractive communities which offer residents quality services, career choice and affordable living.
The Blueprint analyses the region’s comparative advantages, such as proximity to Asia, natural environment and existing infrastructure, and aligns them with emerging global trends.
A series of transformational opportunities will see the region expand its offering from predominantly resources and energy to include new industries such as aquaculture, tourism and renewable energy.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Pilbara Development Commission Terry Hill said the region had more to offer the national economy than minerals and energy.
“The Pilbara has been the centre of the most rapid expansion of iron ore production in history as well as the construction of some of the largest gas projects in the world, with the region now accounting for 36 per cent of the nation’s exports,” Mr Hill said.
“While the resource sector will undoubtedly continual to play a pivotal role in the region’s economy, developing new industries and growth opportunities will leave the Pilbara less vulnerable to the dynamic cycles of the mining sector,” Mr Hill said.
Nine regional pillars have been identified in the Blueprint which represent those areas of the Pilbara’s economy and community where public and private investment should be prioritised in order to make the 2050 vision a reality.
“The pillars align with the region’s strategic priorities which were identified during the consultation process, making them relevant to the shared aspirations of Pilbara industries, businesses, communities and residents,” Mr Hill said.
“It’s important to note that the Blueprint is not a list of all investment opportunities in the Pilbara region, however they have been prioritised as the most transformational at the time of preparing the report.”
The Blueprint is open for public comment for a period of eight weeks, in which time organisations, peak industry bodies, investors and residents are being called on to provide feedback.
“I encourage readers to approach the Blueprint with big picture thinking towards what could be possible for the Pilbara of tomorrow,” Mr Hill said.
“The only way we will achieve a better, brighter future for the region is that if work together to seize new opportunities and embrace a shared vision.”
The summary report and full technical report can be downloaded from www.pdc.wa.gov.au
Businesses and individuals can submit feedback via online survey, email, post or by attending one of five workshops being held around the region and Perth. More information on the methods of feedback can be found on the Commission’s website.
The Pilbara Regional Investment Blueprint has been developed by the Pilbara Development Commission.