Looking Forward – Major projects, Development & Investment
23 – 24 June 2021 | The Ritz Carlton, Perth
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Pilbara 2021 supported by the Pilbara Development Commission will be looking at the economic growth, investment, development, productivity &
innovation across the region. This event further builds on the highly successful Pilbara 2018 & 2019 events providing the perfect opportunity for the Pilbara regions senior industry, investors, businesses, community, and government representatives to re-join and reconnect for this unique networking and shared learning opportunity.

Key topics to be discussed at Pilbara 2021 include:

  • WA Economy – The importance of new development & economic growth in the Pilbara
  • Strategic development, investment opportunities and emerging industries driving economic growth in the Pilbara
  • Stimulating job growth, innovative infrastructure and creating thriving communities
  • The mining powerhouse of WA – growth, expansion, new developments in mines & ports
  • Future of energy, the role of renewables, hydrogen and decarbonization



8:15 Registration & Morning Coffee

9:00 Event Opening

9:05 Opening remarks from the Chair

Eliza Carbines, Founder Tender Relief


Hon Alannah MacTiernan, MLC Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Minister assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade

9:35 Building the Pilbara/Indonesian relationship – Benefits for all

Dewi Gustina Tobing, Consul General, Republic of Indonesia

10:00 A regional economic status report

Justin Fromm, Director, Economic Development, Land and Infrastructure, Pilbara Development Commission

10:35 Investment in the Pilbara – What role can China play?

Philip Kirchlechner, Chair, ACBC WA Investment Committee / Director, Iron Ore Research Pty Ltd

11:00 Morning tea & networking


11:30 Development and investment in the Pilbara – Fortescue’s Iron Bridge Magnetite Project and Eliwana Mine and Rail Project

Michael Sutton, GM Contracts & Controls, Iron Ore Projects, Fortescue Metals Group

12:00 Woodside growth plans in the Pilbara

Niall Myles, Senior Vice President, North West Shelf and Burrup, Woodside Energy

12:25 Development of the Mardie Salt and Potash Project

Alwyn Vorster, Managing Director, BCI Minerals

12:45 The value of Port Hedland to the State of the Nation – a social and economic analysis

Kirsty Danby, Chief Executive Officer, Port Hedland Industries Council (PHIC)

1:10 Lunch & networking


2:10 Pilbara Solar: a model for indigenous ownership of renewable energy projects

  • Indigenous equity models for renewable energy projects
  • Corporate aggregated Power Purchase models
  • HVDC vs Hydrogen export

Dr Geoff James, Founder & Director, Pilbara Solar / Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures

2:40 PANEL DISCUSSION | Renewables and clean energy’s role in resources and industrial growth in the Pilbara

  • Renewables role in slashing energy cost and making projects and operations viable
  • Growth opportunities – Encouraging new development & industry opportunities
  • Creating new jobs and building a strong pipeline of talent and entrepreneurial skills in the region
  • Australia is fast becoming a global centre for renewables for mines – What does this mean for the Pilbara region?
  • The role of green hydrogen

Dr Gary Bryant, General Manager Asset Strategy, Alinta Energy
Dr Geoff James, Founder & Director, Pilbara Solar / Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures
Luke Blackbourn, Manager, Government & External Relations, Yara Pilbara

3:10 Pilbara as a tech hub

  • What is required to turn the Pilbara into a tech hub
  • Pilbara compared to other tech hubs
  • The need to develop a talent pipeline

Paul Lucey, CEO, Project 412

3:30 Afternoon tea & networking


4:00 PANEL DISCUSSION | Skilling for the future

  • Changing mindset & skills to meet new industry opportunities
  • Evolving tertiary education models
  • Creating opportunities in the region
  • Training programs to build skill sets in the region
  • Building lasting communities by increasing youth employment options
  • How do we build and maintain a strong pipeline of talent and entrepreneurial skills in the region?

Susan Grylls, Director, Pilbara Universities Centre
Mitch Hardy, Director Regional Services, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Brett Ellacott, Director / Principal, Tan Ninety


4:30 Transforming agriculture in the Pilbara

Chris Schelfhout, Project Manager, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

4:50 Shaping the Pilbara

Stuart Nahajski, General Manager Regional, DevelopmentWA

5:10 Karratha prepares for construction boom, and lays plans for future beyond FIFO workforce

Cr Peter Long, Mayor, City of Karratha

5:30 Networking drinks and end of day one


9.00 Opening remarks from the Chair

9:05 KEYNOTE | Member for Pilbara

Kevin Michel MLA, Member for Pilbara


9:25 KEYNOTE | Regional travel developments

Darren Best, Regional Manager Relationship Sales WA/NT, Virgin Australia

9:50 Pilbara Ports Authority

Lyle Banks, General Manager Development and Trade, Pilbara Ports Authority

10:10 Transport infrastructure priorities and issues in the Pilbara region

  • Traffic mix and safety issues that we need to address in the Pilbara Region
  • Some of the challenges we have to consider in our region
  • Planned works, both funded and unfunded
  • Some recent success stories
  • We have been and will continue to be…‘open for WA business’

Andrew Pyke, Regional Manager, Main Roads WA in the Pilbara Region

10:30 Regional airport evolution

Honorable Cheryl Edwardes AM, Chairman PHIA Group (Port Hedland International Airport)


10:50 State Government response to parliamentary inquiry into regional airfares

Peter Ryan, Director Aviation, Freight, Ports, Aviation and Reform, Department of Transport

11:10 Morning tea & networking in the exhibition

11:40 Aviair – Intra-Regional Flights

Michael McConachy, Managing Director, Aviair

12:00 PANEL DISCUSSION | Aviation in the Pilbara

  • Regional Aviation strategy – Consultation with the region
  • A revolution in Intra-Pilbara travel
  • Regional airport developments
  • Its role in growing regional tourism & businesses
  • What does the future hold? Opportunities for growth and change

Peter Ryan, Director Aviation, Freight, Ports, Aviation and Reform, Department of Transport
Rod Evans, General Manager, Airport Operations, Port Hedland International Airport
Michael McConachy, Managing Director, Aviair


12:30 PANEL DISCUSSION | Indigenous engagement opportunities in the Pilbara

  • Delivering positive economic, cultural and community benefits
  • Paving the way for local jobs and training pathways for indigenous people in the region
  • The role of big business in creating opportunities for long-term, economically sustainable businesses
  • The key to successful indigenous business partnerships in the Pilbara
  • Sustainability and long-term viability
  • Costs of living and doing business in Pilbara vs commerciality and competitiveness (other benefits)

Susan Shirtliff, Chief Executive Officer, Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation
Steven Dhu, Founder & Director, Aboriginal United Services (AUS)

12:50 Tourism in the Pilbara – onwards and upwards!

Peter Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation

1:10 Lunch & networking

2:10 Karijini Eco Retreat – Into the future

Tim Larkin, Chief Executive Officer, Gumala Enterprises


2:30 Marnda project – Manufacturing opportunities for the region

Jared Fitzclarence, Managing Director, KAW Engineering

2:50 PANEL DISCUSSION | The future, growth & development in the region

  • Creating investment & development opportunities
  • What is being done to create a more balanced economy in the region & prepare Pilbara cities as self-sustaining communities?
  • Promoting regional development, attracting businesses and people to the region – What more can be done?
  • The role of collaboration, alliances and clear communication to achieve goals

Rob Paull, Chief Executive Officer, Shire of Ashburton
Jeremy Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Shire of East Pilbara
Anthony Miller, Manager Pilbara, The Chamber of Minerals & Energy of Western Australia
Kitty Prodonovich, CEO, Regional Chambers of Commerce & Industry of WA

3:30 Afternoon tea & close of conference


Eliza Carbines
Founder Tender Relief

Jared Fitzclarence
Managing Director,
KAW Engineering

Kitty Prodonovich
Regional Chambers of Commerce & Industry of WA

Michael McConachy
Managing Director,


General Pricing
  • Early bird rate: $900 + GST (register before 31/03/2021)
  • Standard rate: $1,099 + GST (register before 21/05/2021)
  • Full rate: $1,299 + GST


Special Pilbara Small Business Rate
  • Early bird rate: $695 + GST (register before 31/03/2021)
  • Standard rate: $795 + GST (register before 21/05/2021)
  • Full rate: $895 + GST

There is a special discount on conference attendance for all small businesses (less than 10 people) that have originated in the Pilbara and are not a branch office of a national or international company. To see if you qualify for the discounted rate, please email Richard.Beattie@informa.com.au


Receive updates on this event. Leave your details with us and we will notify you of updates as they happen. Register your interest here.


Sponsoring and exhibiting at the Pilbara 2021 event will be your gateway to hearing first- hand what the Pilbara region’s future looks like. Gaining access to key decision makers, and being able to showcase your expertise will assist in securing a piece of the pie for the many developments currently ramping up again in this region. Major sponsorship includes a speaking position along with a number of delegate passes to attend the event to network, and/or invite your key clients. The speaking position is the perfect way to communicate your products/services through a relevant case study, in front of an audience of the region’s most senior decision makers. Contact Megan Rogulski to find out what promotional packages are available. Pilbara 2021 will feature an exhibition area alongside the 2 day conference. If you are interested in finding out about the various sponsorship and exhibition options available, please contact:
Megan Rogulski
Sponsorship + Exhibition Manager
E: Megan.Rogulski@informa.com.au
T: 02 9080 4030


Pilbara Development Commission
www.pdc.wa.gov.au Tel: (08) 6551 7500

The Pilbara Development Commission is working to make the Pilbara a great place to do business, build a career, raise a family and invest long into the future.

Established under the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993, the Commission is responsible to the Minister for Regional Development. We provide the regional link between State Government policy and planning and regional aspirations and needs.

Our mission is to be a catalyst for regional development and growth by:

  • Attracting and advancing new industries to diversify the Pilbara economy;
  • Ensuring communities in the Pilbara have a high level of amenity and access to services; and
  • By collaborating with other agencies, organisations and individuals to form transformational partnerships.

Our vision for the Pilbara region is vibrant and sustainable communities underpinned by a strong, diverse economy.

Our projects range from supporting new tourism ventures to working with Aboriginal organisations to develop cultural, economic and creative strategies, proving the viability of commercial rock oyster cultivation on the Pilbara coast and supporting transformative agriculture in the inland Pilbara. We also work provide a ‘knowledge hub’ on trends in the region, and work closely with government at all levels, industry, small and medium enterprise and the not-for-profit sector to make the Pilbara an even better place to be.

We are thrilled to support Pilbara Summit 2021.


The Ritz-Carlton, Perth
1 Barrack St, Perth WA 6000
Phone: (08) 6559 6888


The event will be held in a COVID-safe format, with an online streaming option also available. There are limited places for face to face conference passes so register now to avoid disappointment.

As the world’s leading events’ organiser, Informa has developed a detailed set of enhanced measures to provide the highest level of hygiene and safety at its events, providing everyone with reassurance and confidence they are participating in a safe and controlled environment.

For additional information, please see our complete list of commitments on how we’ll keep this event AllSecure: www.informa.com.au/allsecure/