Premier Colin Barnett joined a number of government ministers in Bunbury on Monday to confirm the relocation of the Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters to the South West.
He said the department’s move is a significant step towards the commitment to decentralise public sector agencies, given this is the first time a government department has moved out of Perth.
The relocation of parts of the public service, in this case Parks and Wildlife headquarters to Bunbury, will attract new investment and skills to the region and provide ongoing economic and social benefits," Mr Barnett said.
"The move will initially see 100 staff from Parks and Wildlife located in the new development, generating more than $25 million per year for the local economy, with plans for the number of staff to increase to 300 within 10 years."
Premier Barnett said Bunbury was selected as it features a unique ecological landscape and this move would greatly complement the state government’s investment in the foreshore waterfront redevelopment.
Regional Development minister Terry Redman said the $28.9 million project has been funded under the Royalties for Regions program.
"The relocation of a major government department to a regional centre such as Bunbury is a huge step forward for regional development in WA,” he said.
“On the project's completion, it is estimated the total population benefit to the region will be more tha 1,500 people with an economic output of $75 million per annum which is a huge positive impact.”
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the development of the new headquarters included the creation of a state-of-the-art visitor gateway for WA’s South West.
"The development is being done over three stages and, when completed, will include a wide range of facilities including a landscaped pedestrian avenue to link the Leschenault Inlet to Koombana Bay, a new lookout, walk trails, a playground and renewal of the mangrove boardwalks," Mr Jacob said.
"The area's rich history and natural environment, including significant maritime values, has been incorporated into the design and will be featured throughout the buildings, landscaping, artwork, interpretative information and boardwalk restoration.
"The project highlights the importance the state government places on encouraging people to visit national and marine parks, and other natural attractions of the greater south-west region."
The project will feature two overlapping stages of work with construction to start in October and be finished by mid-2017.
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