- $85,400 in funding announced for two tourism projects through the Collie Futures Small Grants Program
- Projects include a boost in accommodation and a potential winery expansion to capitalise on the McGowan Government's investment in the region's mountain bike and bushwalking trails
- Part of the McGowan Government's $20 million Collie Futures Fund, designed to stimulate development and diversify Collie's economy
Collie is on track to becoming Western Australia's go-to trail adventure town, with the McGowan Government funding two additional tourism projects to see this vision realised.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray today announced almost $100,000 in funding from the Collie Futures Small Grants Program for the two initiatives.
The Collie River Trail Stay project will receive $45,400 to build eight new tourist cabins on the outskirts of the town, and $40,000 will go towards Harris River Estate winery to investigate plans for expansion.
Accommodation suited for trails and mountain biking is currently limited, and these projects will capitalise on the McGowan Government's $10 million investment to create and maintain more than 180 kilometres of high-quality trails in the Collie surrounds.
The cabins will be built on a privately owned farm six kilometres north of Collie, within 100 metres of existing and proposed Collie mountain bike and bushwalking trails and 400 metres from the Collie River.
Project director and local builder, Jeff Riley said the cabins would be constructed in three stages over 18 months - each unit will be big enough to cater for a family, and equipped with its own bathroom and kitchenette.
The funding will be used for planning, initial earthworks, power connections and approvals fees.
The family-run Harris River Estate will use its funding to carry out a feasibility study to expand its winery, including more accommodation, an amphitheatre, honey processing facility, ropes course and a vineyard zip-line.
Estate managing director Karl Hillier said the winery's bottling line and filtration/material handling equipment had recently been upgraded to help it meet growing international demand.
A further expansion would now be assessed as part of a strategic scale-up that could result in the winery buying wine from other producers across the region and encouraging locals to plant vines to meet their established market's growing needs.
The $2 million Collie Futures Small Grants Program is part of the $20 million Collie Futures Fund, aimed at diversifying the region's economy and creating local jobs.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The Collie region is an ideal place for nature-based tourism and our Government's $20 million investment in the region is beginning to unlock this potential.
"Visitors will now have accommodation options right on the doorstep of more than 180km of high-quality mountain bike and bushwalking trails.
"These two projects will bolster tourism in Collie by encouraging people to stay longer and experience world-class trails in their own backyard.
"While travel to the South-West is not possible right now amid the COVID-19 crisis, we are helping Collie to prepare for a new and improved tourism industry once the pandemic has passed."
Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
"These are the kind of tourism initiatives that will be able to capitalise on work the State Government is doing elsewhere in and around Collie and will create spill-on benefits for other businesses in town.
"I have to commend Jeff on his foresight to try something new in order to make the most of Collie's growing reputation as a trail town and I must commend Harris River Estate for continuing to look at ways to expand its potential as a tourist destination.
"Helping to establish or boost new industries in Collie, such as the tourism industry, is exactly what the Collie Futures Fund was set up to do."
Minister's office - 6552 6200