This week the independent Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) approved Woodside’s proposed Bay Village camp subject to a number of conditions imposed by the City of Karratha.
Council had fought extremely hard against Woodside’s proposal for a 700-bed FIFO camp on the outskirts of town, because it didn’t believe there was a demonstrated need for the development, nor that it was in the best interests of our local community.
We were disappointed when the State Government entered into lease negotiations with Woodside for the development in June, effectively overruling our objections and the community’s concerns.
Because the ultimate decision about the camp was taken out of our hands, Council resolved to support the application subject to its standard conditions, which included the maximum FIFO camp time allowance of 10 years, lit access paths and conditions relating to bushfire, drainage, traffic etc.
In addition, the City specified the camp could be used only for Woodside employees and contractors. This matched Woodside’s insistence that it had an immediate and continuing need for the camp rooms, but was also intended to reduce the impact on existing approved camps.
Woodside contested Council’s conditions and pushed for a 30-year lease and to Council’s great surprise (as it was never raised by Woodside in our negotiations) for the camp to be able to operate on the open market.
This week, we were pleased that the independent JDAP sided with the City and ruled that the camp can only operate for 10 years, and can only be used by Woodside’s employees and contractors. While we did not support the Bay Village development, the panel upholding our conditions, which Woodside will need to comply with in order to build the camp, is evidence that our efforts to advocate for the best outcome for the community have paid off.