Developing a diverse and competitive small to medium business sector is crucial to achieving sustainable economic growth and providing a diversity of career choices for Pilbara residents.
Without the smaller businesses that perhaps only add to minimal services or lifestyle niches, it provides a happier place to live. A Fitness instructor or Hairdresser may not work directly with the big companies, but catering to the people themselves, ensures they have a happier place to live.
Businesses thrive through effective support and efficient strategy. These businesses are often locally based, or on the ground to facilitate production of goods or services intended for the Pilbara.
Whether working directly for the mining giants or providing services to the sub-contractors, the effects of piggy-backing via industry and relationships enables the towns to thrive even though they may have a limited population of their own.
The Pilbara's economy is dominated by mining exports and petroleum export industries. There is a sense of achievement when partnering with the likes of Rio Tinto, FMG, BHP or Woodside. It is not an easy process and their standards are high. But once accepted, then the opportunities are endless.
The Pilbara is Western Australia's second most northern region, defined by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Northern Territory border to the east. The Kimberley Region lies to its north across the Great Sandy Desert and the Pilbara's southern reaches border the Gascoyne, Mid West and Goldfields-Esperance regions. The region covers a total area of 507,896km² (including offshore islands)
The population of the Pilbara is estimated to be 59,894 usual residents (2011 Census). Most of the inhabitants of the Pilbara are located in the western third of the region, whereas the eastern third is largely desert with few inhabitants. The Pilbara has four local government areas - the City of Karratha, Shires of Ashburton and East Pilbara and the Town of Port Hedland. The major towns of the region are Port Hedland and Karratha. Other towns are Roebourne, Dampier, Onslow, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo, Tom Price, Wickham, Newman, Marble Bar and Nullagine.
The Pilbara is economically significant, both nationally and internationally, as the region is responsible for a major portion of the production, value, exports and investments of extraction industries commodities, particularly iron ore and liquefied natural gas (LNG). In November 2009 the Western Australian Government announced The Pilbara Cities initiative, offering a clear mandate for investment in the Pilbara by committing to a $1.2 billion Pilbara Cities Vision that was formally enacted through legislation in December 2009. Early projects led by this government catalyst have started a fundamental transformation of the look of the major townships and extensive planning is now in place to deliver regional cities and major regional centres throughout the Pilbara. In addition to the immense reserves of natural resources, tourism, agriculture, fishing and aquaculture all feature prominently in the strengths and opportunities in the Region.
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