- Exmouth Town Beach upgrade unveiled one month before 2023 Total Solar Eclipse
- Key legacy item partly funded by McGowan Government's $22 million commitment to prepare region for tens of thousands of visitors
- Roads, telecommunications and infrastructure also bolstered
The stage has been set for the 2023 Solar Eclipse with upgrades to Exmouth's Town Beach unveiled a month out from the rare astronomical event.
Completed in two phases with support from the McGowan Government and Shire of Exmouth, the development boasts several new features including shade structures, boardwalk decking, fencing, irrigation, lawns, a drinking fountain and waste facilities.
As the setting for the Dark Sky Festival highlight, First Lights: Nyinggulu, a drone show celebrating the ancient dreaming story of the eclipse told by Traditional Owners, the location will be a drawcard for the town during the eclipse period and for visitors in the future.
With tens of thousands of visitors expected over the event period in the region, final preparations are underway and progressing well.
Representatives from 14 State Government agencies have been working in partnership with local government and the Department of Defence to ensure communities in the region, including businesses, are supported for the event.
The McGowan Government's investment of almost $22 million in announced funding is helping provide a safe and enjoyable event for all with upgrades and improvements to roads, marine infrastructure, telecommunication networks and local facilities.
The contribution will also provide a lasting legacy for the region, which is one of our fastest growing and most popular tourist destinations and features in our successful global tourism campaign - Walking on a Dream.
- $7.8 million committed to traffic management and infrastructure upgrades in preparation for motorists travelling to and across the region including $1.9 million to fund rest area upgrades on the Minilya-Exmouth Road;
- An investment of $5.4 million dollars into telecommunications including new mobile base stations and the upgrade of base stations across the region; and
- A commitment of over $3.9 million for a new temporary 6 million litre water tank to be erected at the Welch St Campsite in Exmouth along with the installation of permanent water infrastructure.
Financial Assistance Agreements between the McGowan Government and Shires of Exmouth, Carnarvon and Onslow have also assisted readiness, including:
- Almost $1.6 million provided to the Shire of Exmouth to support the development and running of the Welch St Campsite to accommodate visitors;
- $90,000 to the Shire of Exmouth to facilitate waste management to help protect the pristine environment;
- Eight different projects across Carnarvon and Coral Bay including upgrading the Carnarvon Visitor Centre, new car parking in both towns and the refurbishment of existing Coral Bay ablutions, water fill and sewerage disposal points for caravans and campers;
- Additional funding for upgrades to Town Beach Playground in Carnarvon and the development of the 2023 April Rocks Carnarvon event and the delivery of a sculpture for the community; and
- Upgrades to Ocean View Caravan Park in Onslow and overflow camping.
The Western Australian Government also implemented the Local Capability Fund round to support local Gascoyne and Pilbara businesses helping prepare for the event on 20 April with funding available up to a maximum $25,000 per application.
Forty businesses successfully applied for the grants totalling more than $837,000.
The solar eclipse will occur over a three-hour period, with totality in Exmouth occurring at approximately 11:29 AM (AWST) 20 April when the sun, moon and Earth align.
Exmouth is located in the path of a 100 per cent solar eclipse, which is the best land-based location in the world to view the event. There will also be near total eclipses across the region, Onslow and Coral Bay will experience 99 per cent darkness while Carnarvon will enjoy about a 95 per cent eclipse.
To find out more about the 2023 Solar Eclipse and the Dark Sky Festival, visit the Ningaloo Eclipse website.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook:
"This event is a rare opportunity to showcase WA to the world as a premium tourism and astro tourism destination and we are working hard to help make it a safe and enjoyable experience.
"While the phenomenon on 20 April is the main event, there is lots happening in the region.
"Those heading to the region for the eclipse should plan and prepare for their visit now."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Don Punch:
"The countdown is well and truly on with only one month to go to the 2023 Solar Eclipse.
"While the moment of totality during the eclipse is 62 seconds, the announcement of over $22 million committed from the WA Government to this event provides a legacy for the region lasting for years to come."
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6900