The Labor government’s decision to abandon plans to develop the Abrolhos Islands National Park was a deep blow to Geraldton’s economy, according to Hon Colin de Grussa MLC, Member for the Agricultural Region.
The previous government had unveiled plans to create a national park over the Abrolhos Islands, which would have provided a big boost to Geraldton’s tourism industry.
Mr de Grussa said he was very disappointed by today’s announcement that the Labor government would not pursue the project.
“This was a great opportunity for Geraldton to develop its tourism industry and to cement itself as a top tourism destination,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The Abrolhos Islands are a stunning natural asset, and opening the islands up to tourism ventures would have had numerous flow on benefits for Geraldton”.
The Islands are home to unique marine areas, large breeding colonies of seabirds and numerous shipwrecks, including the Batavia.
“The Labor party campaigned on increasing tourism in Geraldton during the March election, yet this decision is in direct contrast to that,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The Minister for Environment said that the Government’s priorities were delivering on their election commitments, and yet this was a perfect opportunity to actually deliver on their plan for Geraldton.”
“Boosting tourism in regional communities is not something to play politics with, it’s about increasing job opportunities and diversifying regional economies”.