Geraldton visitors and residents will be encouraged to take quick day trips to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands on high-speed boats, using two specially constructed jetties the WA Government promises to fund. WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said a jetty for vessels up to 25m would be built at the Batavia Coast Marina with a second at Geraldton port’s eastern break-water to accommodate larger vessels. “The jetties will be dedicated tourism facilities specifically designed for easy loading and unloading of passengers, and will assist commercial operators,” she said. Ms MacTiernan said she expected the $3 million project to generate an additional $1.9 million in annual visitor expenditure by 2031. “It will also support other local marine-based tourism opportunities including fishing and diving charters, glass bottom boat tours, whale watching, aquaculture farm and maritime history tours,” she said. “These new jetties are critical to the State’s plans for tourism in the Mid West and will help activate two key marine precincts on the iconic Geraldton coastline.” WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said detailed design of the jetties was progressing and construction would start next year, supporting local jobs and providing opportunities for small businesses. “We are committed to investing in coastal and boating infrastructure across the State to encourage more people on to the water,” Ms Saffioti said. Ms MacTiernan said a working group representing the Mid West Development Commission, City of Greater Geraldton, Mid West Ports, Department of Transport, WA Museum and Geraldton Yacht Club championed the project and helped secure funding. The announcement comes just six weeks after WA Nationals leader Mia Davies promised to fund the jetties should her party form a Government after the March 2021 State election.