Boat facilities and industry on hopefuls’ agenda

Broome Advertiser
Broome Boating Facility Community Reference Group chairman Jeff Cooper says Broome boaties deserve better than the patched-up boat ramp at Town Beach.
Camera IconBroome Boating Facility Community Reference Group chairman Jeff Cooper says Broome boaties deserve better than the patched-up boat ramp at Town Beach. Credit: Picture: Glenn Cordingley, Glenn Cordingley .

Should processes be made easier for companies willing to invest billions and generate job growth in the region? Should they pay less tax, for example?

Labor: Josie Farrer

We should be trying to make it as easy as possible for a business to invest in the Kimberley, while recognising the important role of traditional land owners in approval processes.

I am very concerned that in the Kimberley local businesses are missing out on government contracts while jobs go to companies in the Eastern States. WA Labor will introduce WA Industry Participation Plans to help maximise the amount of local content in the regions through government purchasing and on infrastructure projects.

This will make sure that, where possible, regional businesses are given the first priority in any new regional project. WA Labor will invest $4.5 million into regional start-ups as part of the New Industries Fund.

Liberals: Warren Greatorex

The land tenure policy is a work in progress and more needs to be done to ensure investors have easier access to the region without any unnecessary red tape.

There needs to be more effective consultation processes put in place to improve the timing and delivery of particular projects. I don’t support big companies paying less tax, I think the current tax requirements are adequate.

Nationals: Rob Houston

Development in the Kimberley is often stymied by cumbersome approvals processes with siloed, Perth-based public servants lacking the capacity or regional understanding to efficiently manage approvals processes and effectively regulate Kimberley projects.

If elected to form government, I will lobby my colleagues to establish a “one-stop shop” approach to approvals based in the Kimberley to facilitate ongoing development.

While approvals processes should be more streamlined, I also believe the region would benefit from a more holistic approach to strategically address which areas in the Kimberley are appropriate for development and which areas should be protected and managed for environmental and cultural values. Such an approach would strengthen community confidence in proposed development processes and create more certainty for investment.

I believe that there should be incentives for businesses to invest as economic development in the Kimberley will carry enormous social dividends through the creation of jobs and reducing welfare dependency.

The Greens: Liz Vaughan

The WA Greens believe that prospective companies should pay their fair share for the resources they take.

Reducing red tape has my in-principle support, however strong environment and heritage standards benefit the region — clarifying the responsibilities of developers and providing certainty for time lines, without maligning the community.

Clear environment and heritage regulation, transparent processes and proper consultation are what we are sorely lacking in this State.

Independent: Kai Jones

Processes must be fair, transparent, genuine and accountable with outcomes reflecting the free wishes of the community, instead of making the big cats richer at the expense of those who do all the work.

MPs and contractors must not have their hands in each other’s pockets.

To clarify “free wishes”: process, development and investment must not be promoted in return for access to standard services.

Communities must be genuinely involved in situations directly or indirectly affecting themselves and their area, with no threat of compulsory acquisition if they say no. These situations are not fair process.

Incentives must be available for industries that promote and support local communities with sensible and sustainable projects, with encouragement for a cultural, environmental, eco and/or renewable focus.

Investment from non-local interests needs operational requirement for genuine consultation with and agreement from locals, using sustainable local resources, local employment and training career pathways.

Generally, any project with fair and accountable process, and genuine, positive, long-term, sustainable outcomes is encouraged and welcomed.Broome’s recreation and fishing community has been lobbying for a safe boat harbour for years.

Despite promises and funding commitments, little progress has been made and safety concerns continue to be raised over Broome’s “inadequate” facilities.

Do you support better boating facilities for the town? Can this process be fast-tracked?

Labor: Josie Farrer

WA Labor last year pledged to invest $13.6 million into improving boating facilities in Broome at Entrance Point, Town Beach and Gantheaume Point. The Liberals and Nationals pledged to improve it in 2013 and before the year was out, they had reneged and four years later the facilities have continued to deteriorate.

Broome obviously deserves better facilities. WA Labor’s plan was developed after extensive consultation with interest groups as well as the local Shire. Boating and fishing is a big part of life in Broome.

Better facilities will assist the local tourism industry and potentially create more local jobs.

I have spoken about this issue in Parliament and when I speak to locals it’s one of the biggest issues that is consistently raised with me.

I, and WA Labor, are completely behind the redevelopment of Broome’s boating facilities. This is about providing local jobs attracting tourism and growing the Broome economy.

Liberals: Warren Greatorex

I strongly believe the number one priority regarding the development of a boat harbour/marina is having a safe boating facility to launch and retrieve vessels, reducing the risks of harm to personnel and/or damage to equipment.

Broome has a very high number of recreational boat users and the current facilities are insufficient and provide no real safety, which has already, on a number of occasions caused accidents. I have personally used the current facilities and know firsthand the dangers that exist.

I also believe having a marina would improve Broome as tourism destination, creating more jobs for the West Kimberley.

Furthermore, to develop such a concept it is imperative that the right people are engaged to identify the most appropriate location and, of course, the actual structure itself.

If and when I am elected in March, I will be committed to the delivery of this concept and turning it into reality.

Nationals: Rob Houston

There is no doubt that Broome boating facilities are inadequate.

If you’ve taken water over the side of your boat at Entrance Point, or been bogged in the mangrove mud, I’m sure you’d agree: it’s time for a safe boat launching facility in Broome.

We’re a town that loves our fishing. If elected I will work with the Broome Boat Harbour Advisory Group (which includes the Shire, Yawuru and the boating community) as they assess the different proposals that have been put forward. Once the community has decided on the most appropriate proposal, we will deliver.

In the past, I understand there has been a lot of talk on this issue and not much action. It’s my aim to be a hands-on local member who represents the whole community and follows through on commitments.

Royalties for Regions is how we fund these types of projects and this requires the Nationals WA to have the balance of power in Parliament rather than city-centric major parties.

It is also essential we take action to repair the Budget, which is why we have proposed to increase the mining production rental on BHP and Rio Tinto and fix the unfair GST system.

The Greens: Liz Vaughan

I agree that we need safe boating facilities for Broome — ones that don’t wreck the coastal environment and respect Aboriginal cultural heritage.

In the past there have been proposals that were not in keeping with local aspirations.

The community rejected a proposal at Reddell Beach in 2002 and the Port of Broome’s concept plan in 2006 ruled out Reddell and Dampier Creek because of environmental, cultural and economic reasons.

What we don’t need is a marina driven by real estate interests to divide the community at a massive cost and little benefit to locals.

We have big challenges here in terms of boating and it’s important that people respect the ocean and understand the unique dangers.

There’s also a serious need for good, clear information to be widely available about the nature of the tides, where’s best to put a boat ashore in bad weather and how not to get bogged on beaches.

There’s a process of deciding on boating facilities that’s going on right now and I’m calling for it to be transparent so the community can have a say and a good decision can be made.

One Nation: Keith Wright

We live in such an exciting and attractive part of the State, and an area that is the envy of hundreds and thousands of people aspire to visit.

It is on the bucket list of many as a place to visit and enjoy. If the establishment of a marina or hotel/casino complex in the Broome area makes the area even more attractive as a place to visit or retire then we must pursue all options to enable the dream to become a reality.

Independent: Kai Jones

In my view we need safe, practical, cost-effective boating facilities.

I understand that regardless of location, there are always cultural, ecological, paleontological and other fundamentally important factors.

A marina built for our tide variation would allow safer and more effective boating and marine, and adequate associated social facilities including food and beverage outlets, visual displays to promote the cultural, ecological, paleontological and other fundamentally important factors in the area, and other elements which will generally encourage families and visitors to the area whether they intend to go on a boat or not.

These and other features would provide a safe and adaptable maritime environment for recreational, commercial, (volunteer) marine rescue, and other maritime sectors.

It would be ideal to find a balance which addresses all concerns but life shows us that's easier said than done and compromise will likely be required.

I realise not everyone will share this view hence genuine objective consultation with appropriate stakeholders and the broader community is required to achieve mutually agreeable outcomes through respectful and mutual cooperation to reach an end decision — marina, or not.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails