The Collie Visitor Centre will undergo a revamp to cater for the growing number of tourists as the region emerges as an attractive tourist destination.
The McGowan Government will invest $899,000 from the Collie Industry Attraction and Development Fund to go towards the Replica Mine Upgrade and Visitor Centre Expansion project in Collie.
This upgrade includes a redevelopment of the Replica Underground Coal Mine experience that allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in what could be described as some of Western Australia’s most difficult and dangerous working conditions.
The upgrade will create a sought-after heritage experience, combining modern multimedia projections with traditional museum displays, with a key element to be witnessing an underground mine blast, through visual projections and sound.
This will integrate with the virtual reality experience which was funded by the Collie Futures Small Grants Program which launched today at the centre, allowing visitors to experience operating a digger through goggles.
These upgrades will combine to bring past and present mining techniques to life for visitors, in line with Collie’s Just Transition plan outcome to celebrate and showcase Collie’s history.
The Collie Visitor Centre building will also be expanded and will include additional facilities to cater for the adventure tourism market.
The McGowan Government has committed more than $22 million of funding into tourism attractions in Collie through the Collie Futures Fund. These projects will enable the visitor centre to increase its revenue streams while it caters to the growing demand.
Up to 12 local jobs are expected to be created during construction as well as flow on effects to other local businesses. Upon completion, an additional two jobs within the Collie Visitor Centre will also be created, with potential for two traineeships in the longer term.
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The underground mine attraction is quite unique and has received increasing visitor numbers since Collie’s tourism attractions – including old favourites and new destinations – have gained popularity.
“This upgraded attraction includes more digital elements to help tell Collie’s history in a modern format to engage new audiences.
“The expanded visitor centre will also become a hub for tourists coming into Collie for adventure tourism with additional facilities to assist exploring Collie’s trails and waterways.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“Collie’s popularity is on the rise, with the visitor centre experiencing increased demand so I look forward to the centre offering increased facilities to match.
“The upgrades to the replica underground mine and expansion of the building to include other facilities will enable the centre to increase its revenue streams to move into a more sustainable business model while it caters to the extra visitor numbers.
“This will put more money back into Collie, not to mention the additional jobs created during construction and for the ongoing operation.”