Conversations | 15. Hon. Commissioner Fred Riebeling – Softening the blow

By Donna Shepherd AM • Managing Director
• Conversations

The Town of Port Hedland is working to soften the blow of COVID-19 on the community with a range of initiatives from a rates freeze to a $1 million fund to support small business and local organisations with special grants.

The Town’s Commissioner Fred Riebeling has told the latest instalment of Creating Communities’ latest Stronger Together video conversations series that the council had kept on all its permanent workforce even though it had to temporarily close some public facilities because of the pandemic. This will make it easier for it to resume full operations when restrictions are lifted and a restart is permitted.

The Town is also looking to bring forward capital works projects to support the local business community, with $70 million in next year’s budget to spend on local developments.

Fred has been a Commissioner running the Town for almost a year. He is full of praise for the cooperative work in the community, especially through the Hedland Collective, which has brought together representatives from industry, government and a wide range of interest groups to work on major initiatives to benefit the community.

The Collective’s most significant achievement so far has been a boost of about 100 places to the number of childcare places available in Hedland with the opening of two new centres this year.

“If every year we produce something of that nature, the Hedland Collective will be one of the most important partnerships we can be involved in,” Fred tells us.

Fred Riebeling is the Commissioner for the Town of Port Hedland. He is a former member of Parliament representing the Pilbara and was Speaker of the WA Legislative Assembly from 2001-08

This is part of Creating Communities’ series of video conversations with prominent Australians offering insights and wisdom on coping with the challenges this pandemic presents for all of us. It is a key part of our “Stronger Together” approachto the COVID-19 crisis as we work to bring people and communities together to help each other through this testing time.

 The Hedland Collective will be one of the most important partnerships we can be involved in