Shadow Minister for Tourism Merome Beard called on the McGowan Labor Government to ensure the Kimberley’s tourism operators are supported to recover in the aftermath of the worst flood event to hit WA.
“The wet season is still underway and while the recovery will be slow and likely take months, it is crucial the McGowan Labor Government avoids a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach and consults closely with operators to consider their unique and individual needs,” Ms Beard said.
“The remote Kimberley region is one of the premier tourism destinations in the country and is the northern gateway to WA, so businesses that rely on the industry need to be supported to ensure they are as close as they can be to fully operational once the tourism season begins.
“We won’t know the full impact on the tourism sector in the Kimberley, or the potential knock-on effect on other businesses across the North West of WA until later in the wet season, but we know it will be immense and it is important businesses can survive and be there in the future.”
Ms Beard said the McGowan Labor Government had ground to cover to ensure tourism numbers picked up again, and the Kimberley remains a major drawcard for local and international visitors.
“With international travel down 78 percent from pre-COVID numbers, the McGowan Labor Government cannot neglect the Kimberley’s tourism operators,” she said.
“Our state’s tourism product is world-class, and the Kimberley region plays a major part in drawing visitors to Western Australia, further heightening the critical importance of re-instating crucial infrastructure and access roads as a priority.
“We know there is a long way to go on the road to recover, with many lessons learned from recent disasters, and it is crucial the tourism sector and the jobs they support stay central to the recovery discussion.
“With the dry season ahead of us, the McGowan Labor Government needs to ensure tourists are being encouraged to visit the Kimberley and northern regions and actively promotes that the North of Western Australia is ‘Open for Business.”
The Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund for the Kimberley Floods is now open for public donation.
Those wishing to make a donation can do so at appealswa.org.au