Strategic Initiatives

The Pilbara Development Commission exists to progress the region’s economic and social development. The Commission achieves this by providing coordination, facilitation, enabling and advocacy functions. We also achieve this through strong project delivery. The Pilbara's unique blend of environmental and cultural assets and primary production capabilities are the foundation for sustainable development.

The Commission remains focused on the five priorities below.

1. Grow and develop the resources sector and related industries.

In the Pilbara, resources extraction and related industries currently rely on a large fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce, even within the established communities of Port Hedland, Karratha and Newman.

The interaction between high housing construction costs, regional staff allowances, taxation incentives and the ability to impose greater control of the workforce all contribute. There is an opportunity to grow the local economy and community by capturing existing jobs in the region and incentivising workers to live locally in their work communities. Pilbara major towns can also aspire to become thriving population centres where workers choose to live and travel to the more remote sites for work.

2. Grow and develop sustainable industries.

The Pilbara’s economy is heavily reliant on non-renewable resource extraction. There is a need to diversify the region’s economy and decarbonise existing operations is opening opportunities in emerging sustainable sectors.

Over the next three years, we’re likely to see significant investment into renewable energy developments throughout the region. The Pilbara region’s proximity to Asia, vast renewable energy resources and existing export infrastructure could also see the development of new energy export industry in the form of hydrogen and/or ammonia. Businesses in arts and culture, tourism, primary industries and professional services will also have the opportunity to grow and add additional depth within the region’s 

3. Normalise regional livings standards.

The Regional Development Commissions Act 1993 commits the Regional Development Commissions to “seek to ensure that the general standard of government services and access to those services in the region is comparable to that which applies in the metropolitan area”.

Normalising regional living standards is critical to growing regional populations, which in turn will underpin regional economic development.

4. Generate and promote pathways to increase the economic participation of Aboriginal people.

Although the Pilbara economy has grown strongly over the past decade, Aboriginal people, who represent 14% of the Pilbara's population, are six times more likely to be unemployed than non-Aboriginal people in the region, and on average earn less than one third of the household income of non-Aboriginal households.

There has been significant improvement in the level of employment of Aboriginal people over the past decade, particularly in the resources sector through setting employment targets. However, more needs to be done to improve the participation of Aboriginal people in the broader economy.

5. Organisational Excellence.

The Pilbara Development Commission is committed to organisational excellence, this is reflected in our corporate governance.