The Western Australian Government has released the Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce’s 2016 Report to Government for public comment.
A copy of the report is available here:
The submissions period closed on Friday, 6 October 2017.
The Taskforce has received submissions from 50 individuals and organisations, some of whom requested to remain confidential.
Those submissions for which the author did not request confidentiality are published below.
Where identifying details have been removed this has been done at the author's request.
While late submissions will be accepted, we cannot guarantee that they will be given full consideration before the department submits its advice to the Government.
The State Government will finalise its response to the Taskforce Report after considering the submissions received.
Submissions can be sent to:
Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce
Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
Level 6, 1 Adelaide Terrace
East Perth WA 6004
Tel: +61 8 9222 0555
Submissions will be made public on the Department’s website, unless confidentiality is requested.
The Taskforce Report explains the background to dust issues in Port Hedland, summarises the findings of the Health Risk Assessment, air quality monitoring and modelling, and details work currently underway by industry and regulators to mitigate dust issues.
It then sets out a series of recommendations for Government to consider.
The State Government sought the views of interested parties in order to inform its response to the report and recommendations. The Government is not committed to any of the Report’s recommendations. It will finalise its response to the Report after considering the submissions received.
The Department held an information open day in Port Hedland to provide community members and interested groups with information on dust matters.
The event was on Friday, 1 September 2017.
State Government agencies have prepared a number of supporting fact sheets to provide additional information related to the Taskforce Report.
History of the Taskforce
The Town of Port Hedland has a population of about 20,000 residents, of which around 4,590 live in Port Hedland.
The port, which serves mines in the eastern Pilbara, is the highest tonnage port in Australia and the largest bulk commodity export port in the world. In 2015-16, it exported 433 million tonnes of iron ore with a value of more than $28 billion.
In 2009, in response to concerns about the possible effects of dust on the health of Port Hedland residents, the former Government established the Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce (the Taskforce) to co-ordinate and plan for dust management in the town.
In 2010, the Taskforce produced the Port Hedland Air Quality and Noise Management Plan, which included interim measures to limit exposure to dust by groups considered most at risk of health effects.
The 2010 Taskforce Plan included recommendations for further work on identifying dust levels and sources across Port Hedland and on the health effects of the types of dust found in Port Hedland.
As required by the Plan, the Western Australian Department of Health undertook a Health Risk Assessment on air quality in Port Hedland, released in early 2016. The Assessment found that there was sufficient evidence of potential impacts on human health from dust to warrant dust management controls and land-use planning to reduce exposure.
Subsequently, in August 2016, the Taskforce submitted a Report to Government with further recommendations for managing dust in Port Hedland.