Government Department to Bunbury – Freo Next?

Interesting to read in the West today that the Bunbury relocation of the Department of Parks and Wildlife is finally confirmed. Freo Council has a meeting next week with the state government on the progress of the relocation of the Department of Housing to Fremantle. It’s taking longer than we’d like but everything we are hearing is that government is still supporting this important catalyst move for Freo.

Dept move a jobs boost for Bunbury
Dept move a jobs boost for Bunbury

Relocating the Department of Parks and Wildlife from Perth to Bunbury would inject up to 300 jobs into the regional centre and bring the department closer to environmental hotspots, Colin Barnett said today.

The Premier announced planning work would begin immediately on new $18 million premises for DPAW at Koombana Drive, opposite Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre and near the CBD – the first WA government department to be headquartered outside Perth.

A different site at nearby Turkey Point originally proposed under a 2013 Liberal election promise to decentralise government agencies was ditched on request from the City of Bunbury.

Speaking in Bunbury this morning, Mr Barnett said the new facility would be built in stages, with 100 jobs transferred from DPAW’s Kensington premises to Bunbury in the first stage. He projected 300 DPAW staff would work there within a decade.

“I and others have long felt that we need to decentralise some Government agencies and Bunbury logically sits as the second city of government administration in WA,” he said.

“I also hope into the future you would see Bunbury become a real centre for environmental science and national park management.”

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said not only would the premises be an administrative centre for the department, it would provide a conservation, national park and tourism “shopfront” for tourists.

“The South-West of WA is one of only 35 globally recognised biodiversity hotspots and the only one within Australia,” he said.

“It’s a really good opportunity for our researchers to be able to just walk out the door and do a study on, say, Koombana Bay, do a coastal study, do a study on the mangroves or on the forested areas just a short drive away.”

The Koombana Drive site is close to the world’s southern-most white mangroves. Mr Albert insisted the development would be unobtrusive and environmentally sensitive.

An initial contribution of $25,000 to get planning underway in the 2014-15 Budget would be followed by further allocations in future Budgets, Mr Barnett said.

DPAW will retain its Kensington premises, which recently accommodated the Swan River Trust.

The West Australian

 

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

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