THE port of Port Hedland is now home to a state-of-the-art vessel traffic control centre. The Hedland Tower Integrated Marine Operations Centre houses high-tech equipment and emergency response facilities that will direct the movement of vessels through the harbour for the next 50 years.

Approximately 70 contractors and sub-contractors, many of them Pilbara-based, were involved in the construction. The project also generated significant demand for ancillary services in Port Hedland during the construction period.

To reflect the rich cultural and maritime history of Port Hedland, four rooms in the Hedland Tower are named after people and words with connections to the local community.

The Incident Control Room will be named the Kariyarra Room after the traditional owners of the land on which the Hedland Tower is built.

The Operations Room will be named the Thurla Room. Thurla is the Kariyarra word meaning eye and reflects the bird’s eye view from the top of the building.

One meeting room will be named the Stanton Room after a well-regarded Port Hedland identity, Merv Stanton.

Another meeting room will be called the Monks Room after Port Hedland’s first Harbour Master, Geoff Monks.

Time lapse video of Hedland Tower’s construction

The Hedland Tower is one of three projects funded by the Port Improvement Rate, a temporary levy charged on vessels entering and exiting the harbour to fund capital improvements to sustain and improve safe long-term operation for all port users.

“In its lifetime, the Hedland Tower will guide hundreds of thousands of ships through the port, creating wealth for our State and jobs for local people,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.

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“The Hedland Tower is part of a wider state government strategy to broaden the Pilbara’s economic base while improving social infrastructure to sustain a growing residential population.

“Not only is the Hedland Tower a striking new landmark in town, it is central to the next phase of growth in Port Hedland,” ports minister Alannah MacTiernan said.

“The Hedland Tower gives established and emerging industries the confidence to tap into the many investment and development opportunities on offer in the Pilbara, with the knowledge that the right infrastructure is in place to support their export plans.”

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