Time to get real on tourism

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters -

Most read­ers will have seen the well-in­formed piece by Ge­of­frey Thomas about the Bus­sel­ton air­port.

It flies in the face of all the un­rea­soned opin­ion pro­vided by shadow tourism min­is­ter Libby Met­tam.

Sadly, as with the Surf Pro non­sense about its go­ing to Kal­barri — and the ridicu­lous as­ser­tions that the Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape would go to Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula — there was ab­so­lutely no in­ten­tion of ei­ther of those re­gions to host them, as Ms Met­tam had been main­tain­ing.

In­deed, friends in the tourism in­dus­try in the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula — those who had ac­tu­ally heard about the Es­cape — told me they hadn’t heard any­thing about the Es­cape’s move, and that they would not want it there any­way.

Mar­garet River lo­cals who have been in the air­line, tourism, hos­pi­tal­ity, and food and wine in­dus­tries for a long time are well aware of the waste of $60 mil­lion spent by the pre­vi­ous Bar­nett gov­ern­ment on Bus­sel­ton Air­port.

One only needs look at the folly of sub­si­dis­ing Qan­tas flights to Broome to see that such ven­tures, given our cur­rent pop­u­la­tion num­bers and bud­get, are doomed to fail­ure.

As Thomas writes: “An­other re­al­ity is that Bus­sel­ton Air­port has never worked since it was opened in 1997 . . . At is­sue has been the rel­a­tive ease of driv­ing from Perth and the fact the air­port is lo­cated to the north of our wine-grow­ing re­gions”.

When it comes to ac­quir­ing valu­able in­for­ma­tion on air­lines, I know who I’d rely on, and it’s not the mem­ber for Vasse.

We need re­al­is­tic ap­proaches to im­prov­ing tourism in our re­gion. Ian Par­menter, Mar­garet River

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