Work has started on the new $3.1million Broome Visitors Centre, Tourism Minister Mark McGowan announced today.
Mr McGowan said the Gallop Government had committed $1million towards the project during the last election and works would be complete by the end of 2006.
The Minister joined Kimberley MLA Carol Martin in celebrating the occasion with a sod-turning ceremony and a cheque presentation for $275,000. Further payments will be made as works progress.
“Tourism is a major industry for the North-West and Broome is widely regarded as the gateway to the Kimberley,” he said.
“Demand here in Broome is growing by about 10 per cent each year, with the visitor centre handling more than 130,000 customers annually, and up to 900 per day during peak periods.”
Mr McGowan said the Gallop Government had recognised the need for a new visitors centre in Broome, following the completion of a major study by Tourism Western Australia last year, which found the facilities at Broome were inadequate.
“It is important that we meet the high expectations of our visitors, particularly in an iconic tourism destination like Broome,” he said.
“The new visitor centre will be in keeping with Broome’s distinctive architecture and ambience, as well as being sensitive to the environment.
“It will have a range of displays designed to give visitors a sense of what Broome and Australia’s North-West offers.
“Visitors will also be able to source the information they need to plan their tours and travel.”
Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said the new centre would continue to foster the region’s growing indigenous tourism sector.
“Ecotourism and cultural tours are a growing part of the Kimberley tourism product and the centre will help promote and market new offerings,” Mrs Martin said.
“Tourism employs more than 72,000 people in WA and the Gallop Government is committed to ensuring regional areas such as the North-West receive their fair share of jobs growth.”
Minister's office: 9222 9111