North West Central MLA Vince Catania calls for development to boost Carnarvon’s population

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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Vince Catania MLA is calling for various measures to reverse Carnarvon's population decline.
Camera IconVince Catania MLA is calling for various measures to reverse Carnarvon's population decline. Credit: Supplied

North West Central MLA Vince Catania is calling for a massive investment in land development to reverse Carnarvon’s population decline and regain the town’s Gascoyne regional centre status.

Mr Catania said while the town’s population had dropped from about 6500 to about 4500 during his time in office, he wanted to see 6000 residents by 2030. “The opportunity to reach a population target of 6000 by 2030 is now,” he said.

He said investment in housing, land and utilities as resources were being developed in the region would allow the town to accommodate a residential, rather than a fly-in, fly-out, workforce.

“A current opportunity exists with (rare earths company) Hastings Technology Metals Ltd, located in the Shire of Upper Gascoyne, wanting to have a residential workforce of around 250 people and we need to capitalise on this,” he said.

“We need land, housing and utilities such as power, water and sewerage to be able to make this happen.

“The Harvest Road Group, has indicated that once its oyster trial is complete, if successful may result in up to 200 jobs for Carnarvon — again we’ll need more land, housing and utilities.”

Mr Catania said regional offices for many government departments had moved to Geraldton.

“Currently we have no available housing for more police and other government workers, so we need a government building program to be undertaken to house our essential government workers,” he said.

Carnarvon Shire president Eddie Smith said there would have to be a “significant amount of collaboration” to make Mr Catania’s plan work.

“To get development happening you need the Government to support you and you need the Opposition doing the same,” he said.

“I will support anything Vince can generate that will increase our numbers in town, which we desperately need.”

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