WA’s Shire of Ashburton unveils its future vision

On 30 July, around 200 residents attended a meeting to hear about the future of their towns at the Shire of Ashburton’s Tom Price Community Hall.

Following unprecedented growth, future development has been forecast in the towns of Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Onslow in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

At the meeting, Shire of Ashburton President Greg Musgrave said he hoped Council’s vision will attract interest, stimulate investment, and transform the Shire’s communities and lifestyles.

He said the Shire’s overall vision planned to build a stronger partnership with the resource sector; increase tourist numbers; build modern aerodromes, resorts and other recreational facilities; lead to the completion of the long awaited bitumen road between Tom Price and Karratha; increase and sustain private investment with more employment in the towns; and result in more jobs for residents and additional training facilities.

Lifestyle villages for retirees and the modernisation of health and education facilities are other elements in the vision.

Councillor Musgrave said the total value of major projects currently in the planning stage within the Shire was more than $80 billion, and that these would support the Shire’s vision.

Specific projects currently being developed by the Shire include Onslow’s
$7.5 million multipurpose facility, which will serve as an emergency evacuation centre and indoor sports stadium; upgrades to pathways, shade structures and shaded parking in the town; as well as the expansion of the town’s recreation precinct.

In Paraburdoo, almost $1.5 million will be spent upgrading the shopping precinct and carparks as well as modernising the oval and sporting areas.

Construction of the initial components are set to commence this October.

In Tom Price $10 million will be spent revitalising the town centre. Of this, $5 million will be spent redeveloping the mall by creating winding paved walkways surrounded by landscaped, grassed embankments, shade structures, ample seating, as well as opportunities for future retail facilities and alfresco dining.

A large LCD screen will replace the current drive in, and will provide screening capabilities both day and night.

The infrastructure projects presently being undertaken are being funded in part by Royalties for Regions under the Western Australian Government’s Pilbara Cities program.