“Continuing improvements in economic infrastructure, particularly in regards to Pilbara ports and the potential repurposing of mining and energy sector infrastructure, is pivotal to the continued growth of the Pilbara.”

David Pentz | Chief Executive Officer, Town of Port Hedland

Economic Infrastructure


increase in
water allocation
since 2006


decrease in road
crashes from


decrease in
unplanned electricity
interruptions since 2010

Adequate infrastructure is vital to the realisation of economic growth and the long-term sustainability of a growing population.

As the Pilbara diversifies its economic base, continued investments in economic infrastructure such as energy, water, waste, digital communication and transport will be required.

Key infrastructure projects to enhance the region’s water security, such as upgrades to the Karratha, Roebourne and South Hedland wastewater treatment plants, have already been completed. Meanwhile, the Pilbara Underground Power project, which will provide a more reliable and safe source of power to the region, is nearing completion.

Already an international gateway for trade, the Pilbara has a considerable network of transport infrastructure which supports the largest and most sophisticated bulk exports program in the world. Improving and expanding existing transport capacity to include new air connections with Asia will enable the region to leverage its proximity to Asia to develop tourism and expand its export capabilities through emerging industries such as agriculture and aquaculture.

In addition to enhancing transport links, increasing the region’s digital connectivity has the potential to stimulate the emergence of new services and tradeable commodities through improved access to markets, improved learning and trading platforms. Improvements to broadband capacity through the delivery of the NBN, coupled with ongoing improvements to mobile phone coverage and digital telecommunications applications through the Pilbara, digital flagship projects are expected to overcome these barriers and provide a dramatic improvement in the function, access and reliability of telecommunications services in the region.

While considerable advancements have been made, further investment in the Pilbara’s economic infrastructure has the potential to support industrial expansion, improve liveability and provide greater access to services, markets and communities, making it a key part of realising the region’s vision for 2050. The Commission is working in partnership with government, industry and business to achieve a number of strategic objectives that aim to unlock the Pilbara’s potential and make the 2050 vision a reality.

Current projects

Karratha Tom Price Road – Stage 3

Infrastructure in the region continues to improve with the State Government committing $50 million to fund Stage 3 of the Karratha-Tom Price Road. This will provide a vital link between Karratha and Millstream Chichester National Park, and places the Karratha-Tom Price Road project a step closer to connecting Karratha and Karijini National Park by sealed road. Stage 3 is scheduled to commence construction in May 2018.

Karratha Tom Price Road – Cost Benefit Analysis

The Karratha Tom Price Road is a predominately unsealed road connecting Karratha with Tom Price, and linking Millstream Chichester and Karijini National Parks. The road also runs alongside significant iron ore deposits which are planned for development, including the Flinders Mine. Sealing Stage 4 of the road will provide a safer, more efficient route, for residents, visitors and workers. The Commission is currently undertaking a detailed impact assessment to determine the costs and benefits and ultimately the economic viability of sealing the Karratha Tom Price Road.

Pilbara Underground Power Project

The Pilbara Underground Power Project aims to provide cyclone affected Pilbara towns with a safe and reliable power supply by replacing aging overhead electricity infrastructure with underground networks. The project is designed to dramatically reduce the likelihood of power outages during and immediately following adverse weather events. Read more about the project on the Horizon Power website.

Reports and studies

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