In this section

The Town is proposing to construct a shared pedestrian and cycle path to connect Sutherland Street and Richardson Street in Port Hedland. The path will improve connectivity between the upcoming Marina Development and the West End precinct, rectifying a significant missing link in the Port Hedland Pedestrian & Cycle Network along the foreshore. 

The current foreshore shared path along Sutherland Street abruptly terminates at Howe Street, where pedestrians are forced to deviate from the foreshore down Howe Street, continue along Kingsmill Street and then return to the beach foreshore on Withnell Street (approximately 1km). 

At the March Ordinary Council Meeting, Council decided to defer the proposal until further community consultation had been undertaken. We understand that residents of Kingsmill Street have concerns regarding the proposal, and we want to ensure a possible future shared path takes into consideration the views of the community. 

The below diagram shows the location of the proposed shared path:

Key Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

why is the town building a footpath along the foreshore of kingsmill street?

To improve connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists between the future Spoilbank Marina precinct and the West End of Port Hedland. The proposed shared path will rectify a critical missing link in Port Hedland’s pathway network.


The land is road reserve under the care, control and management of the Town of Port Hedland in accordance with the Land Administration Act 1997 (the Act), and was dedicated as road reserve in 1978.  Section 55(1) of the Act identifies that all land comprising a road is revested in the Crown.

Further, Section 55(2) provides that the relevant local government has the care, control and maintenance of such land. The land can be used as a road or alternative public thoroughfare. In this instance, the Town has chosen to construct only a shared path

WHy are you proposing to build a shared path, rather than a boardwalk?

The proposed shared path will cost significantly less than the boardwalk design from 2012/13. As a local government, it’s important to target rate payer money to where it’s needed most. A shared path will provide a fit for purpose and engineered connection for the community, without incurring excessive costs and ongoing maintenance and associated risk from coastal inundation. The projected cost of the shared path is around $1 million, as opposed to $24,000 per lineal metre for a boardwalk (approx. $25M), where the same outcome can be achieved with the former.

The 2013 Coastal Foreshore Management Plan outlines an opportunity for a dual use boardwalk, with no direct geotechnical, environmental and detailed due diligence undertaken.

It should be noted that certain elements of this plan have been executed and are in planning since the Council endorsement of this plan and capital expenditure is determined by the currently appointed council and executive team.

As part of the Foreshore Masterplan 2013 - No detailed engineering / environment / budget factors were provided – only a high level concepts for consideration.


The proposed shared path is located on higher ground due to the risk of storm surges and erosion at lower ground levels. Extensive coastal assessments as part of the Town’s Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) found that Port Hedland’s coastal assets will experience erosion and inundation into the future. Constructing a path on higher ground avoids the path being exposed to these risk factors.

Further, construction outside the allocated road reserve would have significant tenure and native title impacts, as well as disrupting the area’s natural flora and fauna which serves as natural erosion protection.


The proposed shared path will serve as a vital point of connection between Port Hedland's West End District and the future Spoilbank Marina site. This connection will be a great asset for the whole community, who will be able to enjoy the coastline without having to take a detour.

If you're a property owner on Kingsmill Street, the proposed path will give you better access to the assets along Sutherland Street, such as the Port Hedland Yacht Club, turtle watching, Cemetery Beach Park and the future Spoilbank Marina site. The engineered shared path will also provide additional erosion protection to the foreshore, as recommended in the CHRMAP.

The proposed path supports a number of economic benefits for the whole community. When the Spoilbank Marina is complete, the community will be able to use the shared path to walk down to frequent the site's land side businesses. Further, tourists will be able to walk along the coastline without needing to take a detour, and connect to the West End of Port Hedland.

How much is the proposed path and how is the town going to pay for it?

The proposed path is projected to cost around $1 Million. $510,000 has been allocated from the Federal Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Grant, and $500,000 has been allocated from the Town’s dual use path budget.


The proposed path delivers on number of outcomes in the Town’s Strategic Community Plan 2018-2028. These include:

  • 1.d.3 Facilities and community infrastructure are well maintained, managed and fit for purpose to provide a range of lifestyle opportunities
  • 3.c.3 Engagement with the community on urban renewal and greening initiatives is enhanced


The community consultation period has now closed.

WHY has there beeen no targeted consultation

The Construction of shared paths and footpaths is a core deliverable for the Town of Port Hedland. The delivery of these works is based on recommendations made within strategic plans endorsed by Council, including but not limited to:

  • Port Hedland Parks and Paths Strategy (2018); and
  • Pilbara Cycling Strategy 2050 (2020)

As part of the formulation of these documents – community wide consultation is undertaken that underpin the outcomes of the strategic documents prior to endorsement of the council.

In the 2021/21 Financial year, the Town has delivered in excess of 6.5km of footpath within the road reserve on the cadastral boundaries of adjacent properties though out the community. For the above mentioned renewals works, consultation letters were tailor made to notify affected residents and land owners, one week prior to work commencing.

With the Sutherland St Shared Path Extension being identical in nature to the above mentioned works, a similar process was undertaken for the delivery of the proposed works. In planning the works, significant compliance issues were encountered within the road reserve and referred to the compliance team. The process undertaken summarised as follows:

  • Consultation letters or Compliance Letters were issued in a letter drop to residents and mailed to affected land owners on the 24th and 25th June 2020
  • Compliance deadlines for the encroachments were given to the 31st July 2020
  • Construction at that time, was programed for August 2020

The above outlines that at least an additional month of notice was provided to the affected stakeholders for public works within the road reserve.

Historically, targeted consultation is not standard practice for the delivery of shared paths in road reserves throughout the community. As requested by the Elected Members – in this instance, consultation with the Kingsmill St Land Owners will be undertaken, if you are a Kingsmill Land Owner in the proposed project zone you will be contacted shortly.


The state planning policy is guidance for development approvals for private works under the Planning and Development Act 2005, The Sutherland St Shared Path Extension is Public Works inside the Road Reserve, hence falls under the Public Works Act 1902 and does not apply.

My private courtyard fronts the ocean and I don’t have a fence. I’m concerned about security as people will be walking close to my house.

Review of historic satellite imagery data shows that the majority of properties had rear fences circa 1995. Fencing of properties remains the responsibility of the property owner.  Public access was possible prior to this project.

Reinstatement of fencing can occur. Please contact Regulatory Services for further information – 08 9158 9300.

i have planted my garden within the proposed footpath area. I object to the Council removing my garden.

As previously mentioned road reserve is Crown Land, under the care, control and maintenance of the Town as a Local Road.  Council has no plans to build a road but the shared path is part of a greater vision focussed on the foreshore.  As such the road reserve is not land available for private benefit or use. 

Why can’t the footpath be realigned to retain my garden area?

The road reserve is public land and should not be encroached by property owners.

I will lose all privacy to my courtyard area, what will the TOWN do to compensate me?

There is currently access from the beach to the road reserve.  Privacy screening/fencing is the responsibility of the landholder and as stated above, a review of satellite imagery data shows that the majority of properties had rear fences circa 1995. The Town will not be compensating any owners for their encroachment into the road reserve.

What due diligence has been undertaken?

The Town has completed the following planning and development milestones:

  • Feature Survey
  • Cultural Heritage Assessment
  • Geotechnical Survey
  • Compliance and boundary auditing, and subsequent correspondence with affected property owners
  • Concept development
  • Preliminary Designs
  • Development community engagement materials

What lighting will be used for the Project?

Photo Luminescent Aggregate is currently designed for the shared path, providing an economical and non-intrusive lighting solution.  Please note that consideration will be given to ensure lighting does not affect turtle breeding.

How will the town stop vehicles and ATV’s from accessing the pathway?

It is intended for the project to be a part of the Restricted Access Program – where solutions will be provided to limit access. For example, rocks and boulders may be placed adjacent to the path to stop vehicle access.

Will the path protect against erosion?

Currently there are a number of informal beach access paths from existing properties. The path will limit these access points allowing re-vegetation of the current natural erosion control system.

The path will also be fit for purpose and engineered to provide erosion protection as recommended in the CHRMAP.

Formalised beach access will be delivered as part of stage 2, further mitigating the environmental impacts and loss of dune vegetation.

What are the Risks of not delivering the project?

Failing to construct the shared path will result in a missing link within Port Hedland’s pathway connectivity, impacting the landside connection between and the West End and the Spoilbank Marina precinct. Not constructing the path will necessitate residents and tourists needing to utilise the existing detour down Howe Street and along Kingsmill Street, increasing pedestrian travel time and impacting the area’s livability and coastal enjoyment. Further, a reputational risk presents itself by not delivering the path due to numerous strategies pointing to its necessity and value for the whole community.

Not constructing the pathway will negatively impact the landside potential of the future Spoilbank Marina precinct, due to residents of the West End needing to utilise the detour. Federal Grant funding will also not be able to be utilised for the project should it not go ahead.