Tambrey Mixed Use Development, Karratha – Economic Impact Assessment

Location:  Tambrey, Karratha (WA) Brief:  Karratha is a key regional town servicing the mining industry on the Pilbara Coast of Western Australia. With the continued growth in the local mining sector in recent years, the local resident population has also sustained strong growth, as has the transient population driven by fly-in fly-out workers employed in the mining and related industries.

The Tambrey Mixed Use site has been identified by Council as a neighbourhood activity centre to serve the needs of the growing population. This project examined the economic impacts that would arise from the development of the Tambrey centre, in terms of possible trading impacts, as well as employment creation and other net community benefits.

Methodology:  An overview of the Karratha economy, focusing in particular on the mining sector and its impacts on the community, was undertaken as background research. The local and regional context of the Tambrey site was also reviewed, together with the relevant planning framework, including references to the key planning documents.

The potential trade area for the centre was then defined, including a socio-demographic summary based on 2011 Census data, and projections of population growth and spending capacity for permanent residents in the trade area. The additional population and spending market which can be attributed to businesses and fly-in fly-out workers in the trade area were also assessed.

The sales potential for the proposed Tambrey centre was then assessed, which formed the basis for the economic impact assessment for the proposal. The likely trading impacts on other facilities throughout the surrounding region, particularly the Karratha City Centre, were considered, as were the employment and other economic effects of the proposed development.

Result:  It was determined that the average trading impacts, when weighed against the positive economic and social impacts that would be generated by the development of the Tambrey centre, were considered reasonable and would not threaten the viability of existing retailers within Karratha. Overall, the analysis showed that the proposed centre would not compromise the future role or strength of the Karratha City Centre.