Carnarvon’s new $4.25million land-backed wharf will be a real shot in the arm for the Carnarvon economy and provide ongoing financial benefits for the Gascoyne region, according to Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
Officially opening the Bickley Wharf today, Ms MacTiernan said the new facility would provide an excellent base for attracting new business that in the past had sailed past the harbour due to the congestion and overcrowding of its existing jetties.
The Minister said the new land-backed wharf would play a key role in the future development of Carnarvon and the Gascoyne region.
“The harbour’s committed fishing industries are already responsible for directly contributing more than $50million annually to the local economy and an estimated further $24million indirectly,” she said.
“The new nine-berth wharf and associated unloading quay have drastically improved the efficiency and safety of the Carnarvon Boat Harbour, at the same time as increasing the appeal of the region as a base for new fishing and charter industries.
“While Carnarvon has a well-established fleet in relation to prawn, scallop, finfish, crab and lobster fishing, there is potential for expansion in operations in the developing catches such as the blue swimmer crabs, deep-sea crabs and tuna.
“Job opportunities in marine servicing will also grow from the new facility.
“The new wharf is also expected to boost the growth of the local charter industry, which is well-placed to capitalise on the many nature-based marine tourism opportunities in the area.”
Ms MacTiernan said the decision to build the wharf would not have been made without the vision and strong determination of the local community.
“Ten years ago the local fishing industry identified a need for this infrastructure to ensure the future of their industry and the growth of the region,” she said.
“Having worked closely with the Department for Planning and Infrastructure during the design and construction of the project, they now have a facility that meets their needs and creates a number of opportunities for the people of Carnarvon.”
Ms MacTiernan said a number of potential new job opportunities had been identified following the improvements to the wharf and harbour operations.
“By investing in local infrastructure, the Gallop Government is creating more jobs and opportunities for the Gascoyne region,” she said.
Since construction of the 100m long wharf began in January, more than 28,000 cubic metres of soil have been excavated and 245 tonnes of steel sheets were piled to form the new cyclone-rated structure.
The new facility was designed by Worley Parsons, based on input from the working group.
The Minister said the major contractor, Austral Construction Pty Ltd, had delivered the project on time and on budget, using products and services which were sourced locally.
“Carnarvon-based operations provided quarry products, concrete, construction plant hire and welding services, while protective coating of sheet piles, steel fabrication and dredging works to the harbour basin were undertaken using Western Australian-based companies,” she said.
“This not only generated income for the region but also created direct employment for up to seven local people during construction of the wharf.”
Ms MacTiernan said the wharf had been named after the late Barry Bickley who had worked for the Department for Planning and Infrastructure for nearly 30 years, carrying out maintenance and construction in boat harbours throughout the Gascoyne and adjacent regions.
“Barry was much-respected throughout the Gascoyne for the help he offered to yachts, and private and commercial vessel owners - the naming of the new wharf honours those dedicated years of public service,” she said.
The State’s Regional Investment Fund provided the $2.5million for the project through Department of Local Government and Regional Development’s Regional Infrastructure Funding Program.
State Government sources funded most of the $4.25million project, which was assisted by a $300,000 grant from the Federal Government’s Regional Assistance Program.
The Minister said the Department for Planning and Infrastructure would continue to manage the Carnarvon Boat Harbour in consultation with local users.
Minister's office: 9213 6400