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Hedland councillors clash over workforce lodging, slap down Campbell Transport’s use of detention centre

Traffic security, social accountability and the impression on the housing market have been on the forefront of considerations as Town of Port Hedland councillors butted heads over a proposed workforce lodging redevelopment on the previous Hedland detention centre.

The proposal by haulage firm Campbell Transport for the use of the historic Port Hedland detention centre as workforce lodging was despatched again to the drafting board after considerations have been raised on the March 29 council assembly.

Paramount to these considerations was the impression the event might have on security within the largely residential space, in addition to a perceived lack of contribution to the local people from Campbell Transport.

The Port Hedland Detention Centre.
Camera IconThe Port Hedland Detention Centre. Credit: Dione Davidson/WA News

Cr Jan Gillingham supported the proposal, saying the world had been left “derelict” for greater than a decade and wanted growth.

“My father was a shift supervisor on the previous single particular person’s quarters in 1975. It was a beautiful space of city and was an incredible means of getting staff into our city,” she mentioned.

“Aside from making a derelict half of city lovely once more, this proposal will assist us handle lodging shortages with the 40 rental properties that can return to market — that is desperately wanted, as many of you’ll know.”

Cr Tim Turner spoke towards the proposal and known as for a extra detailed plan outlining how Campbell Transport would deal with security and site visitors points, in addition to a extra vital contribution to the neighborhood from the corporate.

The firm had proposed contributing $66,000 for neighborhood infrastructure.

“I believe $66,000 is a very insignificant contribution, given the profit the corporate would obtain from approval,” Cr Turner mentioned.

“We needs to be receiving a way more substantial contribution — one which isn’t only a one-off, however maybe an annual contribution.”

Cr Elmar Zielke mentioned whereas he wish to see native companies supported, he was involved concerning the development of workforce lodging within the city lately.

“Loads of camps maintain saying that they’re going to combine their folks, however I don’t truly ever see that taking place myself,” he mentioned.

“It tends to be folks coming in, going out to work after which going again to camp.”

The vote on the proposal was tied 4-4 earlier than mayor Peter Carter used his deciding vote to ship the appliance again to the drafting board.

“I believe basically there was a optimistic response to this venture and Campbell’s have labored arduous to make sure they’re doing the suitable factor,” he mentioned.

“But it’s not fairly there. There are a number of extra issues councillors wish to see put in place earlier than we approve this venture.”

The North West Telegraph understands a particular council assembly might be held as early as the top of this week, with a revised proposal anticipated to be supplied.

The website at 15 Dempster Street was initially constructed as workforce lodging for Mt Newman Mining Company (now BHP) within the early Nineteen Seventies earlier than being taken over by the Australian Government in 1991 and transformed right into a detention centre for refugees escaping civil struggle in Cambodia.

A Chinese detainee jumps off the top of the Port Hedland detention centre in August 1992.
Camera IconA Chinese detainee jumps off the highest of the Port Hedland detention centre in August 1992. Credit: Sharon Smith/WA News

It was Australia’s first immigration detention facility and was used till 2001 when the Australian Government signed the Pacific Solution, which allowed unlawful immigrants to be detained in centres outdoors of Australia, together with Christmas Island and Nauru.

It grew to become a contentious website, with protests each peaceable and violent and escape makes an attempt by detainees.

The website was decommissioned in 2007 and leased by now-collapsed Auzcorp — managed by Pilbara entrepreneur Haniff Kassim — which refurbished it to open industrial lodging facility Beachfront Village.

The website has been dormant since 2012.

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