Local firm wins tenders

Staff ReporterGeraldton Guardian
Diving off the Abrolhos Islands.
Camera IconDiving off the Abrolhos Islands. Credit: Supplied

Construction to bolster tourism and ensure conservation will soon start on two jetties in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park, with the construction contract awarded to a Mid West company.

The tenders for the jetties at Beacon Island and East Wallabi Island have been awarded to In-Situ Construction and Maintenance, with an investment of $4.35 million.

The Beacon Island jetty will accommodate boats less than 10m long and is being built to facilitate tourism on the heritage-listed island, which is the site of the Batavia shipwreck and mutiny.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is working with the Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip to provide visitor and interpretation infrastructure on Beacon Island.

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The jetty on East Wallabi Island will assist in island management by DBCA and will be an access point for a proposed operational base and park visitors, as well as supporting the commercial fishing industry.

It will cater for vessels up to 20m in length and provide access to the nearby airstrip, which is an important gateway for people entering the archipelago.

Construction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, with works to commence around December 2020.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said one of the first steps in facilitating tourism on the islands was creating better access.

“The national park was created just last year under the landmark Plan for Our Parks initiative, and since then we have been working hard to ensure the park's heritage and biodiversity values are recognised and protected, while we also look to harness its economic and tourism potential,” he said.

“These two jetties are significant investments that will help put the Houtman Abrolhos Islands on the tourist map as a must-visit destination in WA's Mid-West.

“The awarding of the contract to a local Mid-West business is testament to the State Government's commitment to creating local jobs and supporting local economies, particularly while we are in this COVID-19 recovery phase.”

The McGowan Government recently announced a $13.8 million investment for infrastructure and management of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park over the next four years, including the installation of new jetties.

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