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Workforce accommodation policy back before Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillors

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillors will once again consider moving forward with a draft workforce accommodation policy which would guide the assessment of future development applications.

At Monday night’s ordinary council meeting, councillors will again consider the officer’s recommendation to proceed with the Local Planning Policy – Workforce Accommodation for submission to the WA Planning Commission.

It comes after the matter was put off for further discussion after a motion from Cr Wayne Johnson was approved when the motion last came before council.

The policy aims to set out the council’s position on workforce accommodation.

It will provide guidance on assessment and decision-making for development applications by setting out conditions to be met to address City objectives.

A report to be tabled at Monday’s meeting states the City had long held a position as a mining city which promotes residential workforces and does not encourage the growth of FIFO mining workforces wherever practicable.

“To deliver on the City’s objective to grow its population and support local businesses, it is necessary for the City to consider the adoption of a Workforce Accommodation Local Planning Policy,” the report reads.

At the same council meeting, councillors will reconsider a previously shot-down motion about a workforce accommodation proposal in the city to avoid a costly State Administrative Tribunal hearing.

Having spent about $10,000 of ratepayer money in mediation with the shareholders of Goldfields Villages, which appealed the council’s March decision that workforce accommodation was not consistent in a Service Light Industry Zone — and which meant the company’s $6.5 million 302-person camp proposal could not proceed — the council has been invited by SAT to reconsider the decision on use within the zone.

While the council has not been asked to reconsider the development application made for the camp itself, the decision about next Monday’s meeting agenda item will determine the way the second appeal is to be handled.

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