Boys' Own adventure in cyclone territory

NEWS of tropical cyclone Christine,  that affected Western Australian towns like Port Hedland, Karratha, Dampier and Paraburdoo, resonated deeply with Rosevears MLC Kerry Finch.

The West Launceston resident in the 1960s spent 18 months in the region, including Karratha and Paraburdoo before they existed.

He yesterday related some of his experiences.

``I was looking for that  Boys' Own  adventure and spent a month at Savage River earning the money to get across to WA,'' he recalled.

``My first job was with Hammersley Iron at Dampier, where I worked in the power station and that included working on the former George Town power-generating ship the  George H Evans .

``But the `good' money is always somewhere else and I flew into Tom Price to help build the shopping centre there.

``It was a great experience, but still better money called and I went further inland to where a place called Paraburdoo was going to be built - it was the most magnificent Albert Namatjira-valley.

``I remember, having gone for a look, sitting on a ridge looking down into the valley and watching the colours on the hills in front of me change as the sun set behind me - it was magnificent.

``There were two caravans in the valley and we lived in them as we assembled the flat-pack working men's quarters that then housed the workers who built Paraburdoo.

``That was good money, but there was even better money to be had at Karratha at the first government office to be built on what was just bare ground.

``It would then administer the building of the camp to house the workers who built Karratha itself.''

There were 16,500 resident in Karratha, as of the 2011 census.

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