Fisheries Minister Jon Ford said today major renovations to the Department of Fisheries office in Bunbury would ensure that better services and facilities were provided for the fast-growing South-West community.
Launching the new office today, Mr Ford said $400,000 had been spent on the project to upgrade the office, which was the hub for important fisheries monitoring, compliance operations and education in the region.
“The old facilities on the edge of Koombana Bay were far from adequate - especially during peak licensing periods - when it was common to see people queued up on the footpath outside,” the Minister said.
“Now, the Stirling Street Fisheries office has a more spacious shopfront for handling inquiries and providing services to the public.
“Facilities have also been upgraded here to allow for up to five full-time staff including a new education officer, a position which is expected to be filled very soon.
“The South West Catchment Council has funded the appointment of a marine education officer for the South-West, who will be stationed in Bunbury to deliver education programs within the region.”
Mr Ford said the new building also had capacity to accommodate mobile compliance officers on a temporary basis, when special operations were conducted in the South-West.
“With a population of about 56,000 people, the Bunbury area is the third fastest growing region in Australia, behind Mandurah here in WA and Hervey Bay in Queensland,” he said.
“Many people like to live in WA’s South-West, bringing a mixed range of pressures on the marine environment and there is a high level of recreational boating and fishing activity.
“As a result, there has been an increasing need to conduct regular marine and fisheries education programs and compliance patrols and this has resulted in the need for more Department of Fisheries staff to be located in Bunbury.
“The project to upgrade this important South-West office for the department is part of the State Government’s continuing commitment to managing our marine environment and fishing activities in a sustainable way.”
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