Centre costs raise concern
The Labor candidate for the North West Central electorate says the Exmouth business community is concerned about the high predicted maintenance costs of major town project the Ningaloo Centre.
Shane Hill said local businesspeople believed residents would be hard hit by the cost of maintaining the centre, which they expected would cost hundreds of thousands a year.
“It’s a large amount of money to take from ratepayers just for one building,” he said.
Mr Hill said if elected he wanted to look at different ways the building could be used in addition to its planned function as an interpre- tive centre and community services hub, for example, by housing some State government departments or TAFE rooms, to maximise its use.
Nationals North West Central MLA Vince Catania disagreed that the project’s cost was cause for community concern.
He said once the Ningaloo Centre was completed, he expected it would be a major attraction for Exmouth and the wider region and returns from patronage would more than pay off its initial cost.
“Once completed the amount of tourists that the Ningaloo centre will bring in will cover any shortfall that you may start off with, and in the future it will be sustainable,” he said.