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Albemarle’s Paris Grove development in Australind approved by Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Albemarle Australia’s plans for a new, long term accommodation precinct in Australind has been approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel. Pictured is site director Daniel O’Shea at the company’s South West lithium plant.
Camera IconAlbemarle Australia’s plans for a new, long term accommodation precinct in Australind has been approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel. Pictured is site director Daniel O’Shea at the company’s South West lithium plant. Credit: The West Australian

A major $126 million workforce accommodation development in the South West has been given the green light.

Albemarle’s proposal to accommodate up to 850 workers from its Kemerton lithium hydroxide processing plant in Australind has been approved by the Regional Joint Development Assessment.

The project had the support of the Shire of Harvey, who said “there is no justification for the application to be refused” in its responsible authority report.

An Albemarle spokesperson said it welcomed the JDAP’s decision from March 31.

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“Development of this long term, sustainable and socially integrated precinct for Albemarle’s construction and future operations workforce is critical to the proposed expansion of the Kemerton Lithium Hydroxide Processing Plant over coming decades,” they said.

According to the company’s plan, the Paris Grove development will initially consist of a mixture of workforce villas and a “small number” of homes, before gradually being transformed into a normal residential housing estate for company staff.

The plan did not face the same objections from the local council as the company’s Binningup workers camp proposal, with the Shire of Harvey describing it as a “seriously entertained planning proposal” in its submission to the Regional JDAP.

Within the Shire’s submissions to JDAP, it was stated any concerns could be “adequately addressed” through conditions already placed on the proposal.

Albemarle said it had consulted with a “broad range” of stakeholders about the Paris Grove development.

“(We) will now move to set up a Paris Grove Community Reference Group to create a forum to allow for ongoing community input into the development and operations of the precinct,” a spokesperson said.

The company said “no decision” had been made on the Binningup workforce accommodation plan, which was approved by the Regional JDAP in October last year.

When announced by Albemarle in December, the Paris Grove development was touted by the company as a “new, long-term proposition” which will be developed in stages as the needs of its workforce changes.

At the time, Albemarle Australia country manager Beverley East said the longer-term approach had been influenced by community feedback, as well as a fresh analysis of the company’s future workforce needs.

“The global outlook for lithium is very strong and underpins the worldwide transition to clean energy,” she said.

“We are also aware of the ongoing shortage of short-term accommodation and long-term residential housing in the South West and want to ensure we don’t add to that pressure already in the market.”

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