Rio Tinto Iron Ore was looking to move its transient worker accommodation site from the regional centre of Karratha to the smaller neighbouring town of Dampier where it would reopen the mothballed Peninsula Palms FIFO village. The transition would bring more than 600 workers closer to the worksite, providing more leisure time for workers, cutting unnecessary costs and increasing productivity.
Creating Communities were contracted to do a social impact assessment and social impact mitigation plan to look at ways to minimise any negative impact but also use the relocation of FIFO workers to Dampier as a chance to revitalise the town, creating greater economic and social sustainability.
We reviewed existing data and carried out one-on-one stakeholder interviews, focus group sessions with local community groups and online surveys of over 300 FIFO workers. There was strong support from the community to the reopening of Peninsula Palms. Our recommendations included forming partnerships with local groups and businesses, committing to local content and supply, and creating shared use facilities for workers and the wider community.
In December 2019, RTIO announced the project had been funded and it had appointed a contractor to carry out the redevelopment. Work will commence in early 2020 and the facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2020-21.