Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney said The Nationals WA have committed $3m towards the construction of several jetties to accommodate high speed vessels if they win Government at the next election in a bid to secure the expansion of tourism in Geraldton and the Mid West.
A Progress Mid West document outlines high speed vessel jetties as a state election priority for the Mid West stating that the infrastructure would support tourism at the Abrolhos Islands as well as other commercial maritime tourism growth around Geraldton.
“Having met with some of the maritime tourism operators in Geraldton over the last week, it is clear more developed maritime infrastructure, such as high speed vessel jetties, would vastly improve the tourism experience for visitors as well as helping local businesses to expand,” Mr Blayney said.
“With a business case for two proposed jetties underway, it is vital local maritime operators are supported so they have the confidence to continue to financially plan for the future of their businesses, especially at a time when most tourism operators are still feeling the pinch from covid restrictions.
“That’s why we have committed to fast-track the development of such infrastructure – to ensure the continued success of local, hardworking, and innovative operators.
Mr Blayney said the $3m funding was available from Royalties for Regions since the Beresford Foreshore project was completed under budget, and advocates that the underspent funds should go towards local projects and development.
“Having written to the Regional Development Minister to suggest the money left over from the Beresford project should be spent locally, she gave me assurance that any savings would be spent in the Mid West.
“It’s this Royalties for Regions funding that should be used to develop this important infrastructure, and would ensure Geraldton gets a fair share of the money allocated to regional projects,” Mr Blayney said.
“With WA residents currently being encouraged to holiday within the State, now is the perfect time for this project to be given the boost it needs.”