Tourism cen­tre nears fin­ish

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The long-awaited Ex­mouth Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre is on track to reach prac­ti­cal com­ple­tion as a top-qual­ity fa­cil­ity this month af­ter un­der­go­ing am “amaz­ing turn­around” in man­age­ment within the space of months, ac­cord­ing to the Shire of Ex­mouth in­terim com­mis­sioner.

Com­mis­sioner Ian Fletcher said the tourism and com­mu­nity cen­tre, which was the fo­cus of a Cor­rup­tion and Crime Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Shire in Novem­ber, had since re­ceived in­ter­na­tional ex­perts’ tick of ap­proval as a pre­mier fa­cil­ity of its kind.

He at­trib­uted the change to the Shire seek­ing ex­pert ad­vice on some of the cen­tre’s key el­e­ments, in­clud­ing from the WA Mu­seum chief ex­ec­u­tive Alec Coles and con­sul­tants from aquar­ium en­gi­neer­ing firm Ocea­nis In­ter­na­tional.

“We’re get­ting in­ter­na­tional peo­ple who’ve got in­cred­i­ble ex­per­tise who have been giv­ing us ex­cel­lent ad­vice, and not one of them has said, ‘look you’ve got a dud here’,” he said.

“They say ‘this is phe­nom­e­nal’. It was just how the project was man­aged.”

Mr Fletcher said three au­dits con­ducted into the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre project by the Shire and the De­part­ment of Re­gional De­vel­op­ment since he stepped into the com­mis­sioner’s role in Jan­uary had found the project would be com­pleted on budget and able to be main­tained.

The au­dits also found the cen­tre’s pro­cure­ment process had only been done prop­erly in some in­stances, but that even in cases where it had been done im­prop­erly the cen­tre had still re­ceived value for money.

Mr Fletcher said over­all the project’s im­prove­ment this year had been “very sub­stan­tive”.

“We’ve made in­cred­i­ble progress over the last three months,” he said.

“We’re in a po­si­tion where we’re con­fi­dent now that the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre will func­tion and func­tion very ef­fec­tively. It’s an in­cred­i­bly high-stan­dard fa­cil­ity.”

Though prac­ti­cal works are ex­pected to be com­pleted later this month, the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre will of­fi­cially open to the public as part of Ex­mouth’s 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions in Septem­ber.

Pic­ture: Shire of Ex­mouth

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre.

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