Bob Kucera

Bob Kucera

Former Minister for Disability Services; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests; Seniors

    Budget allocation makes mockery of Opposition tourism claims

    19/05/2004 11:55 AM

    More than $100million in this year’s State Budget is targeted at tourism-related projects, which makes a mockery of Opposition claims that industry support has been cut.

    Tourism Minister Bob Kucera said the 2004-05 Budget had more than $100million directly for tourism or related projects that supported and grew tourism across the State.

    “This level of funding shows the genuine support the Gallop Government has for developing tourism as the second economic front of the State,” Mr Kucera said.

    “It also shows the narrowness of the Opposition’s understanding of tourism. They could not read beyond the Western Australian Tourism Commission allocation of nearly $35million and see that another $60-plus million was being spent on tourism roads, buildings, interpretive centres and national park facilities.

    “If Opposition tourism spokesman Rob Johnson cannot see any further than a single line item in a Budget paper, the industry cannot be confident that he understands the role a government should play in growing and developing an industry.”

    The Minister said infrastructure, building and maintenance programs on theatres, museums and harbour developments, holiday tourism facilities and the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre were all attractions or facilities that tourists visited or used when holidaying in WA.

    He said important projects included in this year’s Budget that would help attract and directly benefit tourists included:
    • $9.6million continuing the protection of the South-West’s iconic old growth forests;
    • $2million to improvements at Kings Park;
    • works to improve key tourism roads totalling more than $100million;
    • work on a $4.5million Aboriginal heritage centre in the Gascoyne; and
    • almost $7million in Regional Investment Fund monies for projects like the $5million Shark Bay World Heritage Interpretive Centre, $3million for the Regional Tourism Markets Recovery Fund, $750,000 for the Collie Motorplex, $600,000 for the Derby Airport enhancement and $500,000 for the Busselton Underwater Observatory.
    “You cannot just promote tourism facilities without ensuring they are of a high quality and accessible,” Mr Kucera said.

    “For instance, it would have been sheer folly to build Walpole’s Treetop Walk and not ensure there was safe access roads for tourists to visit it.

    “Comments made by the Opposition about the lack of tourism funding not only undermine the plans of local, national and international tourists to holiday in WA, but underlines their total misunderstanding of tourism.

    “If the Opposition will not support our work, they need to put on the table their plans to grow WA’s tourism industry and not just carp from the sidelines to undermine confidence in our State as a tourism destination.”

    Minister's office: 9213 7000