Carnarvon and Denham will benefit from capital works projects totalling $3.5 million over the next two years, Premier Carmen Lawrence said today.
Dr Lawrence said the Gascoyne Development Commission would administer the funds - $3.1 million for the Fascine development and $400,000 for the Denham foreshore project - as part of its vital role of helping improve community facilities and keeping jobs in the region.
Launching the Commission, the Premier said it would also seek a satisfactory solution to the One-Mile Jetty ownership and maintenance issue.
"These projects will add to the tourism infrastructure of the Gascoyne, bringing long-term benefits to the region," Dr Lawrence said.
"The jetty is one of Carnarvon's oldest attractions, and the Government will ensure it is repaired and proper arrangements made for ongoing maintenance."
The Government was committed to giving all Western Australians the opportunity of direct input into issues affecting the development of their region.
The Commission would ensure direct local participation in decision-making and making the most of opportunities in the Gascoyne.
The Premier said the Commission's other main task in its first year would be to undertake two major studies to develop a clear framework for the future.
The first study would lead to an overall regional strategy to identify economic and social development opportunities, and the second would investigate all aspects of tourism in the Gascoyne.
"The regional strategy will establish the Gascoyne's development potential, examine downstream processing options, job creation and skills training opportunities, with special emphasis on the pastoral industry," Dr Lawrence said.
"The tourism study will include developing with CALM management plans for environmentally sensitive tourism in the region's new national and marine parks."
The Premier said the Commission would also host a major tourism convention in Carnarvon later this year, aimed at consolidating the Gascoyne's natural tourism advantages.
It would have a total budget of $4.5 million over the next five years, in addition to its $3.5 million capital works budget.