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$217 million to showcase the best of WA and increase tourism offerings

Posted on February 22, 2021
  • Re-elected McGowan Government to support WA tourism sector to recover from the pandemic stronger than ever
  • $50 million for an Aboriginal Cultural Centre to be located near the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan)
  • $20 million Aboriginal Tourism Fund to make Western Australia the premier destination for Aboriginal tourism
  • $50 million to expand the McGowan Government’s Aboriginal Ranger Program
  • $97 million to fund tourism infrastructure upgrades across Perth and the regions
  • Delivering funding certainty for events and destination marketing

A re-elected McGowan Government will invest in an Aboriginal Cultural Centre and an Aboriginal Tourism Fund as part of a $217 million plan to increase tourism offerings and support the sector through COVID-19.

The comprehensive plan for tourism provides funding certainty for events and destination marketing, new tourism offerings, expanded Aboriginal Rangers Program and tourism infrastructure upgrades, creating more than 460 local construction jobs. 

The $217 million investment as part of this plan will help grow domestic tourism and prepare WA for international tourism opportunities, when possible in a COVID safe environment.

The plan includes an investment of:

  • $50 million towards planning, design works and seed-capital for an Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth;
  • $20 million Aboriginal Tourism Fund to make Western Australia the premier destination for Aboriginal tourism in the country;
  • $50 million to expand the Aboriginal Ranger Program so that more Aboriginal organisations can employ and train rangers to manage country and build community leadership, wellbeing and resilience; and
  • $97 million to fund tourism infrastructure upgrades across Perth and the regions.

The existing funding certainty delivered by the McGowan Government will be guaranteed until international COVID travel restrictions are lifted. The level of funding will be reviewed at this point, with a view to increasing the annual allocation.

The plan builds on a suite of commitments made to boost tourism across regional WA under a re-elected McGowan Labor Government, including:

  • $10 million to improve visitor facilities at Karijini National Park;
  • $10 million towards road and camping infrastructure at Mount Augustus;
  • $35 million for the development of a new Broome Boating Facility; and
  • $9.5 million towards the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre at Busselton Jetty.

This commitment builds on the more than $150 million already invested by the McGowan Government through the WA Recovery and Jobs Plan to support the sector.

A number of other initiatives already funded by the McGowan Government will support the expansion of the Aboriginal tourism sector. This includes the sealing of the Dampier Peninsula’s Cape Leveque Road, tourism precinct development in Murujuga National Park at the Burrup Peninsula, joint-management of national parks and the opening of WA Museum Boola Bardip.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“If re-elected, my Government will invest $217 million  to gear up the tourism industry with exciting new tourism offerings so the sector can recover from the pandemic stronger than ever.

“This is a major investment to increase domestic tourism but it will also help the sector prepare for international tourism opportunities, when possible in a COVID safe environment.

“We recognise that our commitment to funding certainty in Government supported the industry to grow substantially pre-COVID.

“That’s why my Government will continue to provide funding certainty for events and destination marketing, and when international travel restrictions are lifted review the annual allocation.

“Central to growing the sector and creating WA jobs is investing in new tourism offerings that we know tourists want.

“About 82 per cent of visitors to WA want an Aboriginal cultural experience when they visit, but only 26 per cent get one.

“A state-of-the-art Aboriginal Cultural Centre will be a massive tourism drawcard and an important acknowledgement and celebration of our first nations people.

“It will operate on a hub and spoke model providing the first opportunity to experience the culture from different regions, promoting tourism offerings in regional WA.

“Aboriginal people and organisations from around the state will have a collaborative role in every step of the project’s development, delivery and operation.

“Our package also includes funding to upgrade tourism infrastructure for some of Perth’s well known and much loved tourist attractions, ensuring these places can continue to delight visitors for decades to come.

“More Aboriginal Rangers will also be employed through this package to benefit the environment, as well as Aboriginal wellbeing and culture.

“This major investment will create more than 460 local jobs throughout construction and many more ongoing local tourism jobs.”