Caravan park and accommodation development consultant Brighthouse has been selected to design a new facility to meet worker accommodation requirements as for the Ord-East Kimberley’s Expansion Project.
The $415 million Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project is a combined Commonwealth and State Government program that will increase the size of the Ord irrigation area to about 22,000ha of agricultural land, providing major opportunities for growth and sustainability for the region’s economic and social development. The East Kimberley Development Package will address infrastructure need of the region as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Nation Building stimulus package.
“Our aim is to see Kununurra emerge as a major regional city with a vibrant economy founded on agriculture and eco and cultural tourism,” Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said at the commencement of earthworks on the district’s main water supply channel.
Brighthouse principal and chief strategist David Holland said the Shire of East Kimberly and local tourism operators had raised concerns that without early planning to avoid the accommodation shortages experienced in other regional town such as Karratha and Port Hedland, Kununurra’s important tourism trade could be adversely affected by the accommodation needs of the project.
In particular, it was feared the imminent closure of one of the town’s caravan park’s for redevelopment and the influx of workers for the Ord Expansion could result in a lack of tourist caravan sites for the duration of the construction phase and beyond.
In an effort to preempt the issue, Tourism WA engaged Brighthouse to conduct a feasibility study on a location in the townsite identified as having potential for a tourist caravan park.
In its report, Brighthouse recommended consideration be given to co-locating a project construction camp on the site with a caravan park that would initially cater for worker’s caravans. In that way the infrastructure services for the construction camp could be put to good use at the completion of the project. The town’s existing caravan sites would be retained predominantly for tourist visitors and be subject to high demand.
The Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberly project coordinators Landcorp and MG Corporation – the organisation representing the traditional owners, the Miriuwung Gajerrong people – adopted the Brighthouse concept in principle. Landcorp engaged Brighthouse to design and provide consultancy services for the development of the new facility.
The critical timelines for the project means that Brighthouse Principal Strategist, David Holland and his small team of specialists will need to compress normal lead times for design, approvals and procurement to ensure the project is on time.