The Western Australian Government’s 2017-18 State Budget is an important step towards growing the state’s visitor economy and future-proofing its transport network, with critical investment across the tourism and transport sectors.
Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) Chief Executive Margy Osmond said the McGowan Government’s first Budget delivered funding certainty and security for the tourism industry while sparing it from any unnecessary tax hikes or budget cuts.
“The tourism and transport sectors will breathe a deep sigh of relief today that the tourism and transport sectors have not been sacrificed in what has proven to be a very difficult Budget for the government,” Ms Osmond said.
“Too often governments see tourism as a cash cow to be milked in the name of budget repair, and we welcome the WA Government’s recognition that investing in a sustainable tourism sector is the most effective and sustainable way to diversify beyond the resources economy.
“The government’s commitment to investing $425 million over five years towards destination marketing and event tourism – including annual baseline funding for destination marketing of $45 million per year and for $40 million a year for event tourism – will provide much needed certainty to the tourism sector at a time it needs it most.
“The $20million over five years to establish the Aboriginal Ranger Program is also a welcome initiative that has the potential to grow nature-based and Indigenous tourism across the State.”
Ms Osmond also welcomed the McGowan Government’s investment in its signature transport initiative, METRONET.
“Public transport infrastructure is critical to the future of the Western Australian economy. With the State’s population set to almost double to 4.1 million by 2031, it is important that in order to start to future-proof the State’s transport network a number of key METRONET projects have been targeted for priority funding,” Ms Osmond said.