Geraldton’s West End recreation and entertainment precinct project has received a $4.9 million shot in the arm under round two of the Regional Development Australia Fund.
Federal Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean in Perth yesterday announced the extra funding towards the $13.8 million project.
The total value includes $5.4 million for the Eastern Breakwater, $4.7 million for a multi-user facility including a community events stage, $1.9 million for a merry-goround precinct and $2 million for full restoration of the adjacent original railway station.
Mayor Ian Carpenter attributed Mr Crean’s announcement to the City’s ability to match federal funding, which he said had been strengthened by amalgamation with the Shire of Mullewa last year.
“The matching funding required by the City has only been made possible through strong financial management and the council’s commitment to financial sustainability,” he said.
“The area will now become a vibrant and activated community precinct with recreation and cultural venues for events which will in turn bring economic activity and vitality to the West End.”
Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney said he was particularly pleased that the project included funds for full restoration of the old railway station and the merry- go-round.
“Along with the funds for the eastern breakwater and the multi-use facility, they will turn a forgotten corner of Geraldton into one of its highlights,” he said.
“The project will further energise Geraldton and build on its growing reputation as a tourism venue of significant merit in the State.”
Mr Carpenter and Mr Blayney acknowledged the Royalties for Regions program as the sources of other funding for the project.
“To date $2.2 million has been committed and an additional $2.6 million will be sought through the Mid West Investment Plan,” Mr Carpenter said.