Departments asked to draw up Abrolhos tourism plans

Geraldton Guardian
The Premier wants tourism development managed to protect the Abrolhos Islands environment.
Camera IconThe Premier wants tourism development managed to protect the Abrolhos Islands environment. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

The State Government is drawing up plans to develop the Abrolhos Islands as a world class tourism destination, the Premier announced today.

Mark McGowan has told his ministers and their departments to develop proposals for the “protection of conservation, fishing, tourism and heritage values while creating jobs and economic opportunities for the Mid West”.

The government will also begin work on the creation of an Abrolhos Islands national park.

The Premier said the islands had the potential to be a big tourism drawcard for interstate and international visitors.

“But it’s crucial that any plans are managed the right way, with the protection of the environment a key focus,” he said.

“I’ve tasked my ministers and their departments with the development of a collaborative, whole-of-government approach to the management of the islands.

“They will examine the need to improve infrastructure and amenities, the management of marine life and ways to deliver economic benefits and jobs to the Mid West.”

Mr McGowan said the departments of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Primary Industries and Regional Development were looking at ways to address issues relating to visitor access, visitor risk and environmental impacts on the islands.

“Any future development opportunities on the islands will build upon the existing fishing industries, such as rock lobster fishery and the developing aquaculture industry,” Mr McGowan said.

Mr McGowan is in Geraldton today to promote the Mid West’s $80 million share in the State Budget, which includes $18.6 million to upgrade John Willcock College, $10 million for development of the islands and $6.5 million to renew the Geraldton Airport runway.

The Premier said creation of an Abrolhos national park was an idea floated by the Barnett Government but never funded.

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