Ashburton develops housing to accommodate new staff

Article image - Ashburton develops housing to accommodate new staff Executive Manager Western Operations Amanda O’Halloran (left), and Project Manager Megan Walsh view unit plans on the site at Second Ave Onslow.

At more than 105,600 square kilometres, Ashburton Shire Council in the Pilbara region of Western Australia is almost half the size of Victoria.

The area boasts some of the world’s largest open cut mines, largest pastoral leases and cattle stations and a thriving fishing industry all set against a beautiful and ancient arid tropical landscape.

With a population of just over 6,000 people, the Shire’s main towns are Tom Price, Paraburdoo and the coastal town of Onslow. Onslow is located around 550 kilometres west of Tom Price – Council’s administrative centre – and is currently the subject of much interest due to recent announcements regarding the resource potential of the nearby Ashburton North industrial site.

To cater for this potential and its associated staffing requirements, Onslow’s existing Council staff recently voted in favour of the construction of three 2 bedroom units in the local area for staff use. The units are expected to be complete mid this year.

Shire of Ashburton Project Manager for the units, Megan Walsh, said the preferred tender was selected from a strong field of contenders, demonstrating the strong interest currently focused on Onslow.

“There are plenty of companies out there wanting to get a piece of the action here in Onslow and the level of interest and enquiry keeps our phone lines humming,” she said.

Shire of Ashburton Executive Manager for Western Operations, Amanda O’Halloran, said that plans are in hand to build further accommodation to house the growing number of staff in Onslow as the Shire faces a period of rapid and unprecedented growth. 

“It is a constant challenge to attract and retain good staff who are the backbone of the role a shire fulfills in any community,” she said. “We have several houses in Onslow, but have not built anything new for many years.

“Not everyone wants or needs a house and these units will serve us very well for the future.  Rental accommodation is almost non existent now and we needed to act to ensure that we are in the best position to meet the exciting challenges ahead for our team.”

Other Pilbara and remotely located Local Governments were consulted during the research phase for the project to ensure a comparative standard and style of housing would be achieved.

The design of the units is attractive, practical and incorporates many climate wise and sustainable features.

For further information contact Amanda O’Halloran on (08) 9184 6001.