The Resources Industry in the Pilbara is the powerhouse of economic growth for Western Australia and the Port of Port Hedland is central to that.
In 2015-16, the Port Hedland supply chain generated some $30bn in economic output for the Australian economy, supporting an estimated 86,240 jobs. Of this, $26.4bn was directed back to the WA economy, almost as much as the State’s entire construction industry. This supported more than 59,000 jobs in Western Australia- or around one in every 20 jobs in the State.
At a local level the impact is even greater, with almost half of all jobs in Port Hedland related to Port activities and in excess of $1 bn in economic output in the same period.
Looking to the future
The future of the mining industry in the Pilbara region is strong and the flow on economic benefits of the potential growth of trade through the Port of Port Hedland are profound.
An Economic Study of Port Hedland Port, forecasts future growth has the potential to add $37 bn in economic output for the Australian economy, $11 bn of which would be realised in the local Pilbara economy. This is the equivalent of 1.5 times the export earnings of Tasmania or the equivalent of a new South Australian mining industry every year.
PHIC member companies provide direct and indirect jobs for Port Hedland, Western Australian and Australia. They provide security for people employed directly by operators and certainty for Port Hedland businesses. Industry is a significant member of the community contributes to the social fabric of the community in terms of social investment and infrastructure and training and development.
Industry and the Port Hedland town have grown together with the port operations growing around the original township of Port Hedland. Over the course of the last several decades residential and commercial development has expanded into areas east and south of Port Hedland. However, the business precinct has remained in the West End – located as little as 100 metres from Port operations.
As such, planning is crucial for the future development of Port Hedland and for the co-existence of industry and the community in Port Hedland.