The West

Augusta harbours tourism ambitions

Augusta, the small South West town which has long been in the shadow of Margaret River, is hoping a new $35 million boat harbour will boost its economy and tourism industry.

Locals have big plans for the marina complex, which will open in September, including a seafood restaurant and shops.

Abalone diver Brad Adams, who is building an abalone farm nearby which will use the new harbour, said he believed the marina and associated businesses could create about 100 jobs in Augusta.

"It will certainly create more employment," he said. "Just this little (abalone) project has created 10 jobs.

"It will be a real boon to tourism industry here. At the moment, many visitors stay in Margaret River, come down here to go to the lighthouse and Jewel Cave and don't stop in the town."

Mr Adams will implant 800,000 juvenile abalone on artificial reefs this year, which he hopes will produce 100 tonnes of abalone a year in two years.

He also hopes to take tourists to the farm, where they will join in harvesting abalone before cooking and eating their catch on the boat's deck.

Forty boat pens will be initially available when the Flinders Bay harbour opens.

The marina will also have a 50m service wharf, a four-lane boat-launching ramp, navigation markers and parking for 160 vehicles with trailers and 50 cars.

The West Australian

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