The McGowan Government has allocated more than $2 million, through the Pilbara Ports Authority, to help construct a new Seafarer’s Centre in Port Hedland, with land purchased within the proposed Maritime Precinct.
The current Seafarers’ Centre, which was constructed by volunteers in the 1960s, is no longer fit-for-purpose, with the demand for services growing exponentially as trade increases at the Port of Port Hedland.
Last financial year, the Port of Port Hedland accommodated over 6,300 vessel movements, with more than 3,000 seafarers visiting the Seafarers’ Centre each month before COVID-19.
The new Seafarers’ Centre will be built on the former Sealanes site on Richardson Street in Port Hedland.
This project is the first example of how the Hedland Maritime Initiative intends to partner with industry to transform unused space for the purpose of developing a Maritime Precinct.
The Hedland Maritime Initiative aims to revitalise Port Hedland’s West End by creating an attractive maritime hub of international standing, which will increase visitors and create new economic opportunities.
As stated by Ports Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Port Hedland is a seafaring town with thousands of ships visiting each year and the largest bulk port in the world – so it’s important we have a top quality Seafarers Centre available.
“Seafarers play an integral part in facilitating the trade of commodities from the Port of Port Hedland and can spend between 6 to 12 months at sea.
“The current building is no longer fit-for purpose, so I’m pleased we have been able to contribute more than $2 million dollars to purchase a site in the Maritime Precinct.
“While COVID-19 means shore leave isn’t available for seafarers at the moment, the PPA is still providing support including care packages and SIM Cards.
“This is the first planned development for the new Maritime Precinct and I look forward to seeing the West End of Port Hedland revitalised into a vibrant precinct the whole community can enjoy.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“The original Seafarers Centre was built in the 1960s by volunteers.
“It’s done a fantastic job, but is too small to accommodate projected demand for the centre’s services.
“I’m pleased to see this development go ahead and become part of a vibrant, redeveloped Maritime Precinct.”