National Park at Abrolhos Islands
Shadow Minister for Tourism Libby Mettam MLA says she is dismayed by the McGowan Government’s decision to scrap the previous Government’s initiative to establish a National Park at the Abrolhos Islands.
“The tourism potential of the Abrolhos is vast; this is a huge blow for tourism in WA,” Mrs Mettam said.
“The Abrolhos Islands are unique, they have a stunning array of wildlife and as a key feature of the Coral Coast have the potential to bring visitors from around the globe.
These islands are an important part of WA’s history as the site of several shipwrecks, including the infamous Batavia, wrecked in 1629 and the Zeewijk, wrecked in 1727, and are perfectly suited to diving and snorkelling, sightseeing, walking, fishing and whale watching.
“The creation of a National Park at the Abrolhos would ensure the preservation of its natural assets and the continuation of the fishing industry.
“How can the McGowan Government possibly claim they are promoting the tourism sector and diversifying the economy while scrapping this national park.”
Mrs Mettam said the previous Liberal-led Government committed to creating the Abrolhos Islands National Park in August 2016 and this proposal had progressed through Cabinet, with fishing and tourism boundaries established prior to the March 2017 State Election.
“It is incorrect for the Labor Government to say that this was a Liberal election commitment,” she said.
“The port of Geraldton would also reap rewards as a base for visitors to the Abrolhos.”
Under the previous Government, visitor numbers to West Australian national parks and other reserves reached 19.3 million in 2016, an increase of 45 per cent since 2008.