The picture shows a barren, man made port facility built up against the coastline about 20km?s north of Geraldton. Ultimately, this $4 billion port & rail facility will completely transform the region into an industrial and transportation hub built to service the export of iron ore and other raw materials from the mid west.
The requirement for power and water to drive the expansion of industry and transportation in the Oakajee precinct will result in the development of some significant solar & wind energy sources as well as more desalination plants. The SKA Project in the same region will only add to energy demands and also ensure that some significant continental bandwidth (for transporting digital data from the SKA Radio telescope) becomes available in the region.
The development is expected to drive significant human resourcing requirements in the area with 4000 direct jobs to be created annually and a potential population expected to top 100,000, up from the existing 30,000 in Geraldton. From a long term sustainability point of view, Geraldton is in the enviable position of having plenty of space for building housing to house this future population but will still need to develop the requisite community infrastructure.
Probably, like Perth, Geraldton will be able to use resources as a springboard to developing education as a ?next step? industry. Certainly the industrial development and SKA Project will bring plenty of scientists and engineers into the region.
Ultimately, if all the pieces fall into place, Oakajee will shift the centre of Western Australia's economic gravity further north.