The sod was officially ‘turned’ today at the construction site of Mandurah’s new multi-million dollar Marine Operations Centre, which will herald a new approach to managing WA’s marine environment and fishing activities.
Final funding of $9.41million to design and construct the new centre was announced in this year’s State Budget and the project is being managed by the Department of Fisheries (DoF) on behalf of several Government agencies that will share the facility.
Construction of the centre will be undertaken by local contractor JM & ED Moore and the centre is expected to be completed late next year.
Fisheries Minister Jon Ford said the building on Breakwater Parade, within the Oceans Marina, would not only provide a new home for DoF staff, it would also give Water Police a new permanent base in the Peel region. It would also be an operational centre for the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Water.
“Recent Bureau of Statistics data shows Mandurah is Australia’s equal second fastest growing regional area and Government services need to keep pace with the increased demands that sort of growth brings,” Mr Ford said.
"The Carpenter Government is committed to managing our marine environment and fishing activities in a sustainable way and the new facilities will provide a vital new staging point for our monitoring, compliance and education activities.
“This new centre will also enable enhanced administrative and logistic support for local fisheries volunteers - one of the most active groups in the DoF’s volunteer program.”
Police Minister John Kobelke said that after the building’s completion in late 2008, it would become very important for Water Police operations in the Peel and South-West regions.
“This will be the first non-metropolitan based Water Police Unit and it will expand our water policing services and emergency response options,” Mr Kobelke said.
Mandurah MLA David Templeman said the existing facilities were inadequate and co-location of services would provide substantial benefits to the community.
“As the local Member, I have been pursuing a permanent, local-based water police unit and I am thrilled that it is becoming a reality,” Mr Templeman said.
“All the agencies sharing the facility will be more readily accessible to the boating and fishing communities, and it’s also a convenient and central location for the general public.
“Bringing all the agencies together will allow for better integration of marine and coastal planning, along with Marine Park and Fisheries management throughout the Peel region.
“This is an exciting time for Mandurah and the Peel region and facilities like this prove the Carpenter Government is acting now to protect and manage our unique environment.”
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