PHIC’s first Community Industry Forum was held in mid-November.

This quarterly forum has been designed to connect all parts of the broader Port Hedland community.

The CIF promotes open and constructive communication and informed discussion and will be a platform for community consultation and information sharing through access to a cross-section of experts.

It will be used to convey information to the community, assist in the resolution of community concerns and provide quick responses to emerging issues.

Its purpose is to build trust and openness between industry, government and the broader community.

The inaugural meeting discussed topics including the Port Hedland Voluntary Buyback Scheme, PHIC’s 2019 Ambient Air Quality Annual Report and the transfer of the monitoring Network to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

The meeting was chaired by PHIC chief executive Kirsty Danby and attended by Town of Port Hedland Commissioner Fred Riebeling, Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel and PHIC Dust Working Group chairperson Suzana Mitrevski, Port Hedland Community Progress Association chief executive Jim Henneberry as well as other industry and community representatives.

Kirsty told the meeting that while industry believed that the proposed Port Hedland Voluntary Buyback Scheme created certainty for the West End, no framework for the scheme had been developed.

Industry was unable to decide if it would participate in the scheme until it could consider a framework, she said.

Suzana presented the key findings of the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network Annual Report. It was the first time that zero exceedances of the interim guideline for PM10 of 70 μg/m3 (over 24 hours measured midnight to midnight) had been recorded at Taplin Street.

The annual report has been provided to the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included monitoring and regulation, with the meeting told that port users are regulated by individual licences issued and enforced by DWER. Answers to many of the questions raised can be found here —

The next CIF is scheduled for February 13, 2020.