There is every indication that Exmouth's economy has turned the corner, according to Gascoyne Minister Tom Stephens.
Mr Stephens said the 150 jobs created by Australian Defence Industries taking over the operation of the Harold E Holt base, reports of increased tourist bookings throughout 1993 and the upgrading of the Bullara Road all pointed to a healthy future for the town.
"The local business people and residents I have talked to recently have shown an increasingly positive attitude to the future of Exmouth - one of the necessary factors in any economic recovery," he said.
"As well, many townspeople and others have expressed interest in the tourism study being conducted by international investment and development consultants Jones Lang Wootton.
"The consultants have described North-West Cape as the best undeveloped tourism region in the State. They are committed to a full public consultation process, so everyone who wants a say will be able to do so."
Mr Stephens said a further positive indicator for Exmouth was the release of another 74 former US Navy homes for sale by public tender.
He said Northern Rivers MLA Kevin Leahy had written to local businesses with details of the sale.
"These houses represent good value, and Mr Leahy is keen to ensure that local people have the opportunity to promote this sale to their friends, family and acquaintances," Mr Stephens said.
"The success of this sale is very important to the future of Exmouth - to ensure this opportunity for new permanent residents is not lost, and to ensure the sale of these houses proceeds quickly so that the funds generated can be used to build up a strong local community infrastructure."
A total of 49 houses were allocated in the first two stages of the release, with average prices realised ranging from $64,666 to $88,889.
The closing date for tenders is March 3.