A new jetty which will bolster marine tourism in the Mid West has opened, which the Government hopes will help unlock more access to the Abrolhos Islands. Construction on the eastern breakwater jetty began in July 2023, and was opened by Premier Roger Cook and Ports Minister David Michael on Wednesday. It was a plan conceived in 2020 as part of the McGowan Government’s COVID-19 recovery plan. The jetty will assist in allowing more access to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park, providing a facility specifically designed for easy boarding and disembarking of passengers from commercial vessels. The construction project was successfully delivered by the Mid West Ports Authority, which will also assume ongoing maintenance and management of the facility as the asset owner. The jetty is designed to accommodate larger commercial vessels of more than 25m, providing passengers with an enhanced experience with improved access to amenities and closer links with the Geraldton CBD retail precinct. Separately to this venture, the Cook Government is supporting planning for upgrades and additional public boat pens at the Batavia Coast Marina in Geraldton. The Department of Transport has begun planning and stakeholder consultation for the development of the additional 34 pens. Mr Michael said the eastern breakwater jetty was open to the public for now, but it would be left to the MWPA to decide if it would stay that way. There is currently no plan for scheduled use of the jetty, but Mr Michael hopes the presence would encourage more people to create businesses in marine tourism. “As we can see Eco Abrolhos are just one of a few tourism operators which we hope will come and use this jetty,” he said. Mr Michael said funding for a recreational jetty for Geraldton — which the community has petitioned for — was something “local government needs to drive”. “But I’m sure if proposals come forward for funding we can always consider it,” he said.