Investment Attraction and Diversification
Investment Attraction and Diversification
The Pilbara region has benefited from significant investment in resources and energy related infrastructure however, the economy is subject to the cyclical nature of these industries, in particular the construction phases and subsequent return to operations. This economic foundation is a significant advantage and while construction phases can result in increased levels of sustained local jobs and business opportunities, an ability to accommodate the peaks of resource cycles is critical to achieving the City of Karratha’s vision of being Australia’s most liveable regional city.
Attracting investment in new industries will diversify the local economy creating more opportunities for existing businesses to grow and new businesses to establish. Tourism, agriculture, aquaculture, education and solar energy have all been highlighted as strategic business opportunities. These form the focus areas for the diversification of the City’s economy in the near term.
Adequate infrastructure is vital to the realisation of economic growth and the long-term sustainability of a growing population. The region has benefited from significant investment in key infrastructure upgrades, which have the city well-positioned to cater to new and expanding commercial projects.
Karratha Airport is the busiest in the Pilbara and second busiest in WA by passenger numbers and aircraft movements. Recently undergoing a $35 million upgrade, the terminal has been designed to provide the capacity for international flights, and service a peak passenger flow of approximately 1.2 million passengers per annum. Council is actively seeking additional services through the Karratha Airport.
Significant investment by the mining and energy sectors has underpinned the City’s longevity as a port city.
- Port of Dampier – Located 1550km north of Perth on the west Pilbara’s Burrup Peninsula, The Port of Dampier is one of Australia’s largest bulk exports ports. Comprising of more than 120ha of land area and 650km2 of marine water, its network extends 350 kilometres inland to the iron ore deposits of the Pilbara region and 200 kilometres seaward to the oil and gas fields of the North West Shelf. Private terminals within the port facilitate the import and export of iron ore, LPG, LNG, diesel, condensate, salt, ammonia, bulk cargo and general cargo.
- Cape Preston – Located 100km south-west of Karratha, this private port was developed to facilitate the export of magnetite concentrate.
- Cape Lambert – Located 40km north of Karratha, this Rio Tinto operated port has eight shipping births used solely for the movement of iron ore.
- Port of Anketell – A planned multi-user port located 30km east of Karratha will enable independent resource companies to access the strategic infrastructure required to export directly out of the Pilbara.
For more information about the Pilbara’s port facilities, contact the Pilbara Ports Authority.
Karratha–Tom Price Road Project
In March 2019, the Federal Government made a pre-election commitment to contribute $248 million towards sealing the Karratha to Tom Price Road. This is in addition to the $50 million committed by the WA Government in 2018.
Sealing this road will provide many benefits to the region, including connecting Karratha to the greater Pilbara, providing accessibility to Karijini National Park from Karratha and enabling drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) opportunities for isolated mine sites. Specifically, an economic model identified that should the Balla Balla Infrastructure Group Project engage a DIDO workforce, it could result in up to 850 workers residing locally, which would provide an estimated $1.718 billion to the Economic Output for the Pilbara region.
Construction of Stage 3, which sealing the 48km section from Roebourne-Wittenoom Road to Millstream Chichester National Park, is underway and is expected to be complete by August 2020. For more information, click here.
The City of Karratha boasts a range of accommodation options; from executive apartments to the low cost workers accommodation at Warrambie Estate and an assortment of family homes – there local housing market caters to an array of budgets and lifestyle preferences.
The Pilbara Development Commission, in partnership with Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), produce bi-annual property snapshots to monitor and report on change in the residential and commercial markets. The snapshots include median sale and lease prices, sellers discounting, market supply and a state and regional economic overview. To access the report, click here.
Karratha Health Campus
In 2018, the State Government opened the $207 million Karratha Health Campus, the largest investment in a public hospital undertaken in WA.
The 40-bed facility has a significantly expanded emergency department, a surgical ward, and maternity wing and delivery suites. It also features expanded facilities for outpatients and essential services such as child health and medical imaging. The development of the new campus not only provides greater healthcare to the community, strengthening the City’s position as the capital of the North West, but its CBD location allows for greater economic stimulation of surrounding small businesses.
The successful completion of the Pilbara Underground Power Project has provided the region with access to a robust electricity service, which affords a surplus of high efficiency generation great enough to support new industry requirements. For more information, contact Horizon Power.
NBN has been rolled out throughout the region, providing improved digital connectivity to homes and businesses within the City of Karratha. For more information contact nbn.
The City of Karratha offers an array of commercial sites ranging from CBD retail and office spaces to heavy industrial areas.
- Gap Ridge
- Light Industrial Area
- Crane Circle
Commercial developments in progress:
Strategic Industrial Areas
Burrup Strategic Industrial Area
The Burrup houses a well-established SIA with vacant land available for strategic industry in close proximity to gas, port and other key infrastructure in the Pilbara region.
If you are interested in investing in the Burrup SIA, contact Landcorp and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI).
Anketell Industrial Area
The proposed Anketell project will see the creation of a multi-user Port and SIA 30km East of Karratha. The design plan identifies two heavy industrial areas and two general industrial areas, which are intended to support the export iron ore from Pilbara mines, with throughput of 350 million tonnes per annum. To discuss availability, contact Landcorp.
Maitland Strategic Industrial Area
The 2500ha Maitland SIA is strategically located to promote and facilitate the processing of WA’s natural resources in the Pilbara region. The area will be developed to accommodate industries such as gas or petroleum processing, power production and other associated downstream processing such as urea, ammonia and ammonium nitrate. To discuss availability, contact Landcorp.
The City of Karratha is of global significance, hosting multi-national corporations and exporting resources worldwide. The City has a long history of exporting iron ore, liquefied natural gas, salt and ammonium products.
Throughout the next few years, the mining industry within the Pilbara is set to undergo another upcycle, with more than $91.21 billion committed to oil and gas projects alone.
These developments will require a significant construction workforce, with more than 2,000 new operational positions expected to follow.
Beyond the direct impacts, the local economy will benefit from flow on effects in consumption and demand for manufacturing and support industries, which in turn supports additional jobs.
In addition to the oil and gas sectors, a number of emerging industries are also gaining momentum; gold, lithium, zinc and cobalt projects are currently being developed across the Pilbara and the City of Karratha is the epicentre of this growth.
Karratha is the gateway for world-class tourism experiences including islands, natural parks, ancient rock art and cultural eco-tourism. It is a strategic focus of the City of Karratha to attract increased visitation to the region to support a thriving tourism industry.
Visitors to the region injected $189 million into the local economy between February 2018 and January 2019 (Spendmapp). Providing high quality experiences to visitors and residents would increase this expenditure and facilitate the successful diversification of our economy.
The Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre is the offical home of tourist experiences within the City of Karratha. Located on Dewitt Road, the friendly team can assist with information, advice and bookings for some unique, unforgettable experiences with local tour operators. Follow the KTVC Facebook page to stay up-to-date with the latest promotions and offers.
Destination Management Plan
To strengthen and grow the local tourism industry and position Karratha as a progressive city with premier tourist experiences, high quality facilities, services and investment opportunities, the City invested in developing a destination management plan for the region.
Through the process it was identified that despite the scale of social and community infrastructure and capacity enhancement projects, Karratha is still largely perceived as a mining town with limited amenity.
This provides an opportunity for Council and industry to work collaboratively to:
- Introduce new and unique experiences for visitors, which leverage off our natural beauty and assets
- Raise the profile of Karratha by holding signature events, which people would travel to Karratha to experience
- Improve the image of Karratha as an enticing destination.
There has never a better time to develop your business in Karratha. The City of Karratha is actively seeking to support new businesses that align with this strategy. For more information, please contact the City Growth team on 9186 8555 or
Download a copy of the City of Karratha’s Destination Management Plan here.
Karratha is Calling
Karratha is Calling is an integrated place branding campaign designed to showcase the many tourism, lifestyle and business opportunities available within the City of Karratha. For more information, visit Karratha is Calling.