Construction of the Department of Parks and Wildlife's new Bunbury headquarters is set to start, with the tender for the first stage awarded to BCL Group Pty Ltd.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the project at Koombana Bay would create hundreds of jobs as part of the Liberal National Government's commitment to decentralise public sector agencies and stimulate economic growth in regional areas.
"The construction phase alone will create 135 direct and indirect jobs and when the building becomes operational, 100 Parks and Wildlife staff will permanently move to Bunbury. Within 10 years, the number of Parks and Wildlife staff in Bunbury is expected to be 300," Mr Jacob said.
The first of three stages of works includes landscaping, creation of a corridor to link Leschenault Inlet with Koombana Bay, walkways, car parks, interpretive works, a new lookout and an education centre.
"This new centre will be a state-of-the-art visitor gateway for the South-West," Mr Jacob said.
"The project highlights the importance the State Government places on encouraging people to visit national and marine parks and other natural attractions of the greater south-west region."
The development has been made possible with an investment of $28.9 million from the State Government's Royalties for Regions.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said BCL had extensive experience in the delivery of regional public works and landscaping projects.
"The influx of specialist staff at the new headquarters and the ability to recruit additional staff from the local workforce will assist in the attraction and retention of regional residents," Mr Redman said.
"Economic modelling shows positive growth from the project, with a total population benefit for the region estimated at 1,545 people, providing an economic output of $75 million a year.
"This development, when added to the redevelopment of Koombana Bay and the Dolphin Discovery Centre, will support the transformation of the region and contribute towards an engaging tourism precinct to welcome visitors to our magnificent South-West."
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700