Cash splash to upgrade Perth’s tourism infrastructure

Tourism destinations across Western Australia including Rottnest Island, Perth Zoo, Kings Park and Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region will receive upgrades as part of a cash splash by the WA Government.

The West Australian Government will spend $150 million in total upgrading the state’s infrastructure as part of a ling term plan to attract interstate visitors in future.

More than a $1 million will be spent building a permanent stage to host art and cultural activities at Kings Park, while Perth Zoo’s cafe and function areas will receive a $10 million upgrade. Rottnest Island will receive $31 million to upgrade roads and water supply infrastructure.

The Government will also spend nearly $4 million to attract visitors to Aboriginal cultural sites in the Kimberley.

“[This] is a great opportunity for Western Australia because of our huge, rich and diverse Aboriginal cultural offering,” Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.

The program is part of the Government’s $5.5 billion economic recovery plan in response to the pandemic which includes cheaper airfares to encourage West Australians to explore their home state.

“We’re fixing things up and ensuring they can meet the demand of the future,” Papalia said.

“Once we come out into the post-COVID world and continue to operate more openly and are able to attract people from further afield, it will ensure that we continue to have world-class destinations for people to visit.”

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall welcomed the extra funding.

“This is going to be critical to give West Australians new reasons to go back to regional destinations, to come into Perth for a staycation and of course it will be critical to bring back the out-of-state visitor when they return,” he said.

“We need to create new experiences — we haven’t had a lot of new things to do, particularly in Perth, for quite some time.”

In the short term though, WA’s border is set to remain firmly closed.

“As to whether it’s before the end of the year, as to whether it’s before the middle of next year, I cannot put a date on it,” Premier Mark McGowan said.

“Every time you put a date on it, you have to change.”