Dust may hamper future development

Port of Hedland is being made to account for its dust management Photo: Pilbara Ports Authority Port of Hedland is being made to account for its dust management Photo: Pilbara Ports Authority

Port of Hedland’s long-awaited dust management report could affect the way the port expands and develops in the future.

Western Australia’s State Government is now calling for citizens to weigh in on the proposal so that recommendations can be drawn up to how the port operates going forward.

“We have made clear that the AUS$112 million State Government commitment to the (Spoilbank Marina) project will remain allocated to Hedland, however, we are open to considering redirection into other projects,” said Alannah MacTiernan, regional development minister.

“Our government will work with local residents and businesses to achieve the best possible outcome for the community, acknowledging that iron ore exports underpin the economic prosperity of the town.”

Recommendations

Recommendations in the report include a Special Controlled Area over the West End, aimed at preventing further population growth west of Taplin Street as well as limiting “sensitive land uses” between Taplin and McGregor Streets.

Exporters are also recommended to continue to reduce dust emissions arising from port activities and should be subject to more stringent risk based regulation.

The report follows the release of the Department of Health’s Health Risk Assessment in 2016 which found “significant evidence of health affects from dust to warrant dust management controls and land-use planning to reduce exposure”.

Although the State Government maintains it remains committed to development at the port, for now, any development plans have been put on hold.

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