Cost of Doing Business in the Pilbara 2018 study

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Friday 14 December 2018

‘Regional Development Australia (RDA) Pilbara is pleased to launch the fourth edition of the Cost of Doing Business in the Pilbara 2018 report’, said Fiona White-Hartig, Chair, RDA Pilbara.  ‘The organisation has distributed 100 printed copies and over 150 electronic downloads have been accessed since the release,’ she said.

The series are used to help organisations to improve planning and operations; as input to policy formulation; and as an input to business decision making. RDA Pilbara consistently receives queries regarding the information contained within the document.

Key cost findings include: the Consumer Price Index in the Pilbara is the second highest regional index; investment activity costs may rise; the costs of operating a business in the Pilbara in 2018 are rising again after the downturn and the percentage differences are very high due mainly to the increasing cost of labour.

The study acknowledged that in addition to the high costs of doing business, small internal markets, distance and isolation are the main constraints to the development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector and start-ups.

Despite the constraints, developing a diverse and competitive SME sector is necessary to broaden and diversify the economy of the Pilbara region. At present SME activity tends to be predominantly in construction, rental, real estate, warehousing and logistics. These industries are closely aligned with the resources sector and are subject to its cyclical fluctuations.

The significant investment over the last 10 years in social infrastructure provides a catalyst for service clusters to develop around these new facilities. In addition, there are a number of planned and possible small to medium scale start-up businesses in tourism, agriculture, and marine related initiatives.

The Cost of Doing Business in the Pilbara 2018 study provides a resource for business planning, local government planning and operations, and policy development. It also analyses opportunities, developments and forecasts for SMEs. Mayor Camilo Blanco, Town of Port Hedland said, ‘the Cost of Doing Business in the Pilbara is a very useful tool for the NGO sector in Hedland and the Local Government’. Council refers to the finding when making decisions about incentives available to businesses.

For queries regarding this report please contact Diane Pentz, CEO of Regional Development Australia Pilbara at or phone 0427 191 272 and to download a copy please visit