BHP has announced that it will spend up to $20 million over the next five years to help establish the West End of Port Hedland as a vibrant commercial and community hub.
The West End Revitalisation Programme will be delivered with major partner the Town of Port Hedland, and other key partners and will also deliver local contracting and employment opportunities across the Pilbara.
BHP General Manager Port Operations, Nilson Davila, said the funding reinforced BHP’s commitment to work with the government, community and other industry players to improve the commercial and tourism vibrancy of the West End.
"We are engaging local contractors, hiring local people and investing in projects that will grow the West End in line with the State Government’s West End improvement scheme," he said.
"BHP is working collaboratively with government, industry and the community to ensure the sustainable future of the port as well as to create a revitalised west end for all of Port Hedland to enjoy.
"The Programme is in addition to more than $20million that BHP has invested to improve the overall amenity of the West End over the last decade and it comes at a particularly important time as our community looks to enter a recovery phase from COVID-19.
"The funding will not only benefit the West End but will also help to support the people, the jobs and the businesses in Port Hedland and the Pilbara."
Projects currently underway as part of the West End Revitalisation Programme include:
- A $3milion, two-stage greening programme to improve the overall aesthetics and amenity of the area, with a focus on the CBD.
- A cleaning contract with local Indigenous contractor Binbirri to clean local public infrastructure such as playgrounds, picnic tables and seating.
- The installation of two upcycled shipping containers at Marapikurrinya Park for pop-up markets to transform the area into a vibrant hub of community activity and trade.
New projects will be announced as they are approved.
Mr Davila said the funding was in addition to the $50 million Vital Resources Fund, which was announced by BHP to help regional communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"More than $8million of our Vital Resources Fund has already been committed to Western Australian projects and initiatives, with a strong focus on the Pilbara," he said.
Hon Commissioner Fred Riebeling AM JP welcomed the announcement from BHP to revitalise the historic West End District.
"Along with the State Government’s West End Improvement scheme No. 1 and the Town’s commitments and investments, the BHP West End Revitalisation Programme secures a vision for a revitalised West End district," he said.
"The significant measures announced by BHP will drive commercial and social activity in the district, contributing to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery of our local sole traders and small to medium sized businesses.
"The Town’s strategic commitment is to partner with industry to identify opportunities for local businesses, such as the Portside Pop-Ups project, which will enable food traders to utilise up-cycled shipping containers at Marapikurrinya Park.
"Significant upgrades to the greenery and amenity of the area will require the procurement of local supplies and labour, further supporting employment opportunities for local residents.
"These measures announced by BHP complement the Town’s infrastructure investment in the West End district in recent times, such as resealing roads, reconstructing kerbsides and revamping Marapikurrinya Park.
"I’d like to thank BHP for their ongoing commitment to the long term viability of the West End district, and look forward to viewing the completion of the projects in due course."