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Western Australian Government’s latest industry boost to inject $150 million into tourism
Having announced funding to stimulate the arts and sport in the past week, the Western Australian Government has today announced that it will spend $150 million upgrading infrastructure at tourism destinations including Rottnest Island, Perth Zoo, Kings Park and Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region.
The latest tranche of funding from the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan will provide support to enhance tourism in Western Australia as it manages COVID-19 impacts and will see investment in wide-ranging infrastructure upgrades, affordable regional airfares and Aboriginal cultural tourism.
With no immediate prospect of Western Australia reopening its hard border, Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan explained that upgrades aim to position attractions to welcome interstate and overseas visitors in the future.
Among the funding projects, a total of $31 million will be spent to upgrade roads and water supply infrastructure on Rottnest Island, which has reopened to tourists after being a quarantine zone earlier in the state's COVID-19 response.
The Perth Zoo will receive $10 million to upgrade its cafe and function areas, while improved campsites and boardwalks will be constructed at Karijini National Park.
Another $20 million has been set aside for bike trails in Kalamunda and Mundaring, in the Perth Hills, as well as in Albany, Denmark and Margaret River.
Just over $1 million will be spent building a permanent stage to host art and cultural activities at Kings Park.
Nearly $4 million has also committed to attract tourists to Aboriginal cultural sites for attractions such as "camping with custodians" on the Dampier Peninsula, in the Kimberley.
In the Peel region, visitors and residents will be able to benefit from $950,000 worth of infrastructure works including upgrades to the timber boardwalks and paths, and visitor facilities in national parks across the Peel hills and coastal region including buildings, trails, camp sites and roads.
The Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail, which runs through the Peel, will also benefit from a $1.19 million upgrade which includes the renewing of camp sites, bridges and sections of the track.
These investments complement the $25 million for the Healthy Estuaries WA program for improvement works in estuaries across regional Western Australia, including the Peel Harvey system and the Wander Out Yonder campaign.
Commenting on the package, Premier McGowan stated “tThis major investment will assist the State's tourism industry as it manages the impacts of COVID-19, enhancing Western Australia's greatest assets - our world-class natural attractions.
"These wide-ranging improvements will enhance the intrastate holiday experience for locals, while ensuring the state is better placed than ever to capitalise on the out-of-state market when the time comes.”
Western Australian Tourism Minister Paul Papalia added “we're fixing things up and ensuring they can meet the demand of the future.
"Once we come out into the post-COVID world and continue to operate more openly and are able to attract people from further afield, it will ensure that we continue to have world-class destinations for people to visit."
Tourism businesses welcome investment
Tourism Council WA Chief Executive Evan Hall said he was delighted to see investment particularly in nature-based tourism attractions.
Hall noted "this is going to be critical to give West Australians new reasons to go back to regional destinations, to come into Perth for a staycation and of course it will be critical to bring back the out-of-state visitor when they return.
"We need to create new experiences - we haven't had a lot of new things to do, particularly in Perth, for quite some time."
Hall said the $1 million investment in the Tourism Attractions Case Management framework would encourage private investment in new tourism experiences in the heart of Perth.
He added “it can be very difficult for new tourism attractions and experiences to start up, it's a complicated bureaucratic regime to get through and the Government's commitment of $1 million to case manage those private investments through the framework will really assist the private sector."
For more information on tourism package projects go to www.wa.gov.au
Images: Kings Park (top), Rottnest Island (middle, courtesy of Rottnest Fast Ferries) and the King Leopold Ranges in the Kimberley (below, courtesy of King Leopold Air).
3rd August 2020 - Perth’s WACA to be remodelled as 10000-capacity boutique venue
27th July 2020 - Pilbara cultural heritage site saved by rock art discovery
21st July 2020 - SportWest release strategic priorities for Western Australian sport
29th April 2020 - Family-owned Perth venue reboots with new concept during COVID-19
10th April 2020 - Perth Zoo introduce their latest Tree Kangaroo joey
21st January 2020 - $33 million infrastructure program commences on Rottnest Island’s West End
15th January 2020 - Western Australians encouraged to support Perth’s Kings Park and Botanic Garden
22nd October 2019 - Pilbara tourism operator claims second Western Australian excellence award
23rd September 2019 - Installation commences on $24 million Kalbarri Skywalk
21st February 2019 - Bibbulmun Track walking events cater for all fitness and skill levels
13th July 2018 - Western Australia looks to develop trail town tourism
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