The Mid West Regional Blueprint process has delivered funding for its first major transformational project - the development of an innovative tourism precinct in the Kalbarri National Park.
The announcement of the provision of $20 million under Royalties for Regions (through the Mid West Development Commission’s MWIP) for the project was announced by the Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett in Kalbarri today.
The project includes two breathtaking skywalks at the Inyaka Wookai Watju site, formally known as the West Loop, the completion of the sealing of the Loop / Z Bend Road and the redevelopment of the Z Bend and Meanarra Hill tourist sites.
The project is the direct result of the strategic planning process undertaken by the Mid West Development Commission (MWDC) in conjunction with the Mid West Tourism Alliance. Its Mid West Tourism Development Strategy identified the project as one of six key tourism priority projects that would deliver transformational growth, positioning the Mid West as a nature based tourism destination of choice and building a stronger profile for the region.
MWDC Chair the Hon Murray Criddle said the announcement is a twofold win for the region.
“The Mid West can now play a bigger role in Western Australia’s tourism industry with the further ‘game changing’ product development of an already significant tourist attraction, Mr Criddle said.
“The creation of this world class visitor attraction in Kalbarri will help revitalise the region’s tourism economy. The project is modestly projected to increase Kalbarri visitor numbers by 10% which could result in an extra $15 million in annual tourist spending and benefit tourism operators and service industries in Kalbarri and other parts of the Mid West.
Not to be missed, however, is the importance of this project being the FIRST major announcement stemming from the significant strategic work undertaken through the Mid West Regional Investment Blueprint.
“The greatest opportunity now exists for the private sector to become involved in developing more adventure tourism activities in and around Kalbarri and the opening up of new tourism markets,” Mr Criddle said.