Interest in the Port Hedland Voluntary Buy-Back Scheme (PHVBS) has grown.

As of mid-August, Hedland Maritime Initiative — the company created to administer the PHVBS and facilitate the planning and development of a Maritime Precinct — had acquired 38 properties and a further 45 properties were progressing to contract stage or under contract.

The first sales under the PHVBS settled in June.

Of the 426 residential properties eligible for the scheme, the owners of 70 per cent of the eligible properties have registered their interest, with 48 per cent having been valued or progressing to valuation.

Eligible residential property owners are offered a settlement price calculated on the agreed market value of the property as at August 6, 2019 (indexed), plus a premium of 35 per cent of the agreed market value, and up to $20,000 (including GST) for verifiable transaction costs.

The PHVBS is expected to be open until 31 December 2023.

HMI has developed the Maritime Precinct Masterplan, which includes five sub-precincts identified for education and training, commercial and cultural opportunities.

The new Seafarers’ Centre is progressing, and discussions are underway with industry about the Pilbara Training College which will provide ‘pit-to-port’ training options for those in the resources, logistics and maritime industries.

HMI is working with Pilbara Ports Authority to identify suitable locations within the Maritime Precinct to enable the phased development of the college.