Alongside councillors and representatives from Rio Tinto, last week I had the pleasure of attending a signing ceremony in Dampier to celebrate a milestone in the transfer of land in Dampier from Rio to the City.

The Dampier Land Transfer, as we call it, is a major project that will see ownership of ten pieces of land and related infrastructure transferred from Rio Tinto to the City of Karratha. This will allow us to make a range of changes and improvements to the use and facility of this land, much as we have done with our recently completed Town Beach and Hampton oval development.

Since Rio Tinto established Dampier as a port and township in the 1960s, both the iron ore industry and our local government area have undergone an astounding amount of growth and development. In that time, most of Rio’s original employee houses in Dampier have been sold and in 1983 it was decided that public areas of the town should be transferred from Rio Tinto to the council.

This required a great deal of planning and examination of legal implications, but the City is very pleased that this first transfer of 10 parcels of land and related infrastructure has now occurred.

This will allow the City to develop the land to promote both the liveability of Dampier and tourism opportunities. It will also streamline our management of facilities, incorporating common products and maintenance methods: we have already begun works on upgrades to lighting and turf at Windy Ridge Oval and repairs to the cricket nets.

The Dampier Land Transfer is a significant milestone for the future of Dampier and while there is still work to be done, we look forward to working towards achieving the best results for the City and continuing to seek Rio Tinto’s support to progress opportunities for our community in Dampier.