Cen­tre costs raise con­cern

Pilbara News - - Election 2017 - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

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