BHP un­der fire on tourism

North West Telegraph - - Front Page - Tay­lar Amonini

BHP has been asked to do more to sup­port tourism in New­man af­ter Greens MLC Robin Chap­ple told State Par­lia­ment the min­ing com­pany’s work­ers were oc­cu­py­ing a BHP car­a­van park, shut­ting out its po­ten­tial use by vis­i­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Chap­ple, Kal­gan’s Rest Car­a­van Park was still be­ing up­graded and was occupied by work­ers rather than tourists.

“One of the ways of open­ing up the Pil­bara to more tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties is by up­grad­ing the towns that link the re­gion and al­low for tourists to travel with ease,” he said.

“As a ma­jor player in New­man, and as a com­pany that ben­e­fits to a large de­gree from WA, BHP should be con­tribut­ing more to­wards up­grad­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions for trav­ellers, mak­ing New­man a more ac­ces­si­ble node for peo­ple to ac­cess the beauty of the Pil­bara.”

A BHP spokes­woman said the min­ing gi­ant al­ready had plans to help New­man tourism.

“BHP is in­vest­ing al­most $500,000 into up­grad­ing car­a­van park fa­cil­i­ties at Whale­back Vil­lage in New­man and ex­pects the fa­cil­ity to be open to the pub­lic in May this year,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the spokes­woman, BHP’s Kal­gan’s Rest Car­a­van Park would be open for short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion for tourists un­til Whale­back Vil­lage opened.

New­man Vis­i­tor Cen­tre man­ager Barbara O’Driscoll said the cen­tre had a good re­la­tion­ship with BHP and ex­pected a pos­i­tive tourism sea­son this year.

“Like any­thing there’s al­ways room for more, but BHP do as­sist in tourism, they as­sist us if we re­quest, they’re proac­tive around town and help sup­port things like the Mar­tu­milli Artists and have their car­a­van parks avail­able,” she said. “We have to be mind­ful be­cause tourism is not their core busi­ness but de­spite that, we have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines open and they’re al­ways pos­i­tive when we ask for as­sis­tance.”

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