On your bike!

With the Covid lockdown restricting movement and traffic, now is an ideal time to put on your helmet and mask, and get your hour of daily exercise on your bike. There are many beautiful places to ride around Bunbury, but one that deserves more attention is the Bunbury – Capel – Busselton Cycle Link.

With my Centurion Comp TA – still as light and fast as when I first fell in love with her at Uni, back in 1984…

The long overdue Bunbury to Capel to Busselton Cycle Link should be completed as a priority for tourism, employment and safe commuting between these major regional centres.  It will take @ $3 million to complete the sealed link, and then an additional $9 million over time to widen the existing rural roads to a world class cycle touring standard.

The widening of the single lane Mallokup Bridge, a key entry point to Peppermint Grove Beach, to dual lanes and separate cycle / pedestrian path would complete the journey. With over 500 vehicle movements per day, the estimated cost of $2.5 million is a worthy infrastructure investment.

The Western Australia Party supports the completion of the Bunbury to Capel to Busselton Cycle Link, and the widening of the Mallokup Bridge.

Investing in Education in the Regions

There is no doubt that big investments in education are most welcome. But governments should be mindful that those investments are spent in the most constructive, state and nation building manner. In September 2020, it was announced that the McGowan Labor government had teamed up with the Federal Liberals to spend over $1 billion to build new ECU and Curtin campuses right in the centre of Perth. 

Read the full article here

I certainly do not begrudge the City of Perth securing this windfall investment. But I can foresee that the inevitable complaints of congestion both during and after construction will see even more demands for additional infrastructure spending in the CBD.  Meanwhile, two of the most common complaints from regional centres are that our youth continue to be drawn to Perth for education and employment opportunities, depleting our communities of our most valuable resource; and that our town centres, spattered with empty shopfronts, desperately need revitalisation.  

This is another case of successive WA governments putting too many eggs in one basket. There is a whole other world beyond the Perth metropolitan region. Imagine what such an investment would do to the regional centres of WA?

$1 billion in tertiary education – TAFE and Uni – would completely transform our regional centres. It would create many more local opportunities for our youth and for mature age students as well.  If shared on a per capita basis among the 12 largest centres.

  • Greater Bunbury (including Collie and Harvey) would receive approximately $275 million;
  • Geraldton @ $145m
  • Kalgoorlie @ $135m
  • Albany @ $110m
  • Busselton @ $80m
  • Karratha @ $65m
  • Port Hedland @ $45m
  • Esperance and Carnarvon @ $35m each
  • Kununurra and Manjimup @ $20m each
So come on. Let’s lobby the State and Federal Labor and Liberal governments to stump up another $1 billion, and to use it more strategically this time.

Happy Australia Day, 29th January, 2021.

Pre 1994 Australia Day was always shifted to the nearest Monday to create a long weekend. A ‘last hurrah’ for the Summer holidays before the new school year. ANZAC Day was the far more important fixed day of commemoration. Australia Day should be a day we can all celebrate, and clearly the 26th of January ‘has too much baggage’.
So I’d like to propose it be moved to the last Monday or the last Friday of January, whichever is closer to the end of the month. That way it will always fall on the 28th, 29th, 30th or 31st. It will always be a long weekend.
It will allow the 26th Jan to become a day of reflection. A day to consider how we or our forebears arrived here, and the impact that has had on others. A time to pay our respects.
Then, two or three days after that acknowledgement, it will be time to celebrate, together. And the breakfasts, the bbq’s, the citizenship ceremonies, and the fireworks can be spread over Fri-Sat-Sun or Sat-Sun-Mon, depending on whatever suits different Cities or Shires. Then it will be time to pack up the camping gear, wash off the sand, head for home and maybe even have a squiz at the school booklist…

The Bun-Geo Economic Multiplier

$1,722 M TOURISM

$ 790 M Mining

$ 367 M Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (combined) 1.

This is the remarkable importance of tourism to our economy in the Bunbury Geographe region. Tourism generates more than twice the value of Mining, and more than 4 and a 1/2 the value of Ag, Forestry and Fishing combined…

“The visitor economy is supported at a national level by the federal government through Tourism Australia, and at a state and regional level by Tourism WA and Australia’s South West respectively. To maximise this investment benefit in a region, it’s crucial that it is supported a sub-regional level by local government” 1.

That’s why the Capel Council passed motions 185/2019 and 186/2019, to protect the Giant Trees in the Gelorup Corridor. They represent an irreplaceable natural asset.
The 6 biggest recorded trees from 5 different species, all within 4 km of each other.

A natural phenomenon not seen anywhere else in the world!

What State government would be foolish enough to destroy this amazing natural asset?
The current WA government. Why? Because MRWA has a 50 year old plan to put a road through there.
On 13th March, let Mark McGowan, Rita Saffioti and Don Punch know that this is completely unacceptable!
  1. Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership (June 2020) ‘A New Way Forward’ p. 6.