Port Hedland Seafarers Centre approved for funding

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Port Hedland Seafarers Centre approved for funding

The Cook Labour Government has announced that it will build a new, purpose-built Seafarers Centre in Port Hedland to accommodate the tens of thousands of seafarers.

The new centre’s $13.5 million cost will be financed initially as part of the 2024-25 State Budget, with the industry recovering the expenses through a shipping levy, with contributions from port users BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill, Mineral Resources Limited and Atlas Iron.

The investment expands on the State Government’s more than $2 million commitment, made through Pilbara Ports, to buy land for the new facility.

Pilbara Ports will oversee the project’s construction and, after the new facility is leased to the Mission for Seafarers, will ensure its proper maintenance.

READ: Port of Port Hedland expansion gets AU$565 million boost

According to Pilbara Ports, up to 150,000 seafarers visit the port annually, producing tens of billions of dollars in export earnings for Australia, billions in royalties for the state, and sustaining employment and investment in Western Australia’s resource industry.

The present Seafarers Centre was built more than 50 years ago and is no longer suitable. The new sailors’ facility will provide housing, leisure rooms, dining options and a modest chapel for sailors on shore leave.

The final design and procurement procedures will be completed in 2024, with construction scheduled to begin in the first part of 2025.

Pilbara Ports also predicts the project to improve community facilities in the West End of Port Hedland and boost commercial growth.

David Michael, Ports Minister, said: “By providing some of the comforts of home at this new facility, we are supporting the welfare of thousands of seafarers who visit the port each year.

“The Cook Government welcomes the industry contribution from BHP, Fortescue, Roy Hill, Mineral Resources and Atlas that will help make this project possible. I’m proud Pilbara Ports can play such a key role in delivering a project that will be so important for so many international seafarers, the Port Hedland community and the broader WA economy.”

READ: Port of Port Hedland spared from Cyclone Ilsa, ops resume

Kevin Michel, Pilbara Member of the Legislative Assembly, stated: “The original facility was built by volunteers in the 1960s and has done a fantastic job of supporting the hundreds of thousands of seafarers that visit Port Hedland.

“I’m pleased to see projects like this one in the region, improving the amenity of Port Hedland in line with other global ports of this scale.”

In February, the Pilbara Ports Authority delivered a total monthly throughput of 52.7 million tonnes (Mt).

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