Economic diversity, resilience, growth and jobs have received a boost in the Gascoyne through the latest round of the McGowan Government’s Regional Economic and Development (RED) grants.
Nine recipients will share in a total of $836,954 from Round 3 of the RED grants program, announced by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan today.
The State Government will provide $200,000 to Dive Ningaloo to refit a catamaran to provide for a new high-end tourism experience, where up to 18 people can live aboard for a week-long dive tour.
The project will create a new tourism experience in Exmouth, helping to support local jobs as the economy rebounds from COVID-19.
Existing and start-up businesses in Exmouth will benefit from an $80,000 grant to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to create the Exmouth Business Centre to stimulate enterprise development.
The Shire of Exmouth will use its $29,250 grant towards installing a new booking platform at the Exmouth Visitor Centre to generate efficiencies and increase local content.
Carnarvon recipients include Abacus Fisheries, which will use its $200,000 grant towards procuring cold chain and processing equipment to process cut crabs, which will create more than 40 direct and indirect new jobs.
The equipment will also be used to process and value add to locally caught seafood, like prawns, scallops and finfish, stimulating job opportunities and economic growth.
The $170,000 Coral Coast Helicopter Services RED grant will go towards building an aircraft hangar and workshop to provide a maintenance and engineering service to the region’s growing aviation sector, generating five new jobs after construction is completed.
The Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation will use its $39,204 grant to purchase a custom-built food van to extend its mobile meal service and commence events catering, including the use of bush tucker foods and training opportunities.
The latest announcement of funds is in addition to the $1.61 million already disseminated to 11 projects in the Gascoyne from the previous two rounds of RED grants.
The McGowan Government recently committed an additional $5 million to extend the RED grant program for another year, with a total of $33.8 million to be disseminated to regional communities over six years.
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“As these RED grants hit the ground they will generate long lasting benefits to the broader Gascoyne community, driving business opportunities, economic growth and jobs throughout the region.
“We are supporting the Exmouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s efforts to revitalise the town with its vision for a business hub, which will bring people together to support each other and stimulate opportunities and economic growth.
“This round will also help attract further commercial investment in the region via the Abacus Fisheries and Coral Coast Helicopter Service’s developments.”