Time to get real on tourism
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