Proceed with marina: Libs

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph
Shadow minister for tourism Libby Mettam.
Camera IconShadow minister for tourism Libby Mettam. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

Shadow minister for tourism Libby Mettam has said it is “essential” that the State Government give LandCorp and Cedar Woods the go-ahead to progress with the Mangles Bay Marina.

The proponents want to build a marina in Rockingham that would be accompanied by retail space and accommodation options.

The WA Planning Commission has made a recommendation on the potential rezoning of the required land to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, who is considering the findings.

Ms Mettam said the Government should back the project to bolster tourism in the Rockingham region.

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“From a tourism perspective, as long as the project complies with the relevant environmental approvals granted in 2014, I believe it could have a significant benefit to the local area in terms of employment, social and flow-on economic benefits,” she told the Telegraph.

“We have a State and a region that needs economic growth and jobs, and it is essential this project is progressed.

“Since 2003 we have seen over $6 million invested in this project, which has seen the support of both State and Federal Labor and Liberal governments over the years.

“To see this project potentially fall over at the 11th hour would be extremely disappointing.”

The marina project has been opposed by environmental groups, with the Conservation Council of WA last week urging MS Saffioti to reject the proposal.

The group has contacted Environment Minister Stephen Dawson to call for a review of the project by the Environmental Protection Authority, highlighting the threat to the region’s wildlife.

CCWA director Piers Verstegen said new information from scientists stating the Penguin Island colony population has almost halved since 2007 needed to be considered.

“The little penguins, seals, and other marine life around Penguin Island and Point Peron are iconic. They are loved by locals and tourists alike, and must be protected,” he said.

“Ms Saffioti cannot make a responsible planning decision to approve this project, now that these scientists have warned of important new information that was not considered as part of the environmental assessment for the project conducted by the Barnett government.

“Allowing this development to go ahead would cause a major ongoing environmental headache for the State Government, and it would destroy jobs in fishing, tourism, and other industries.”

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