$19.3m funding for solar eclipse event

20/04/2022 - 12:02

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The state government has committed about $20 million to prepare an "extraordinary" solar eclipse event for the thousands of visitors expected to visit WA.

$19.3m funding for solar eclipse event
Roger Cook announced a $19.3 million package for the preparation of the solar eclipse event. Photo: Matt Jelonek

The state government has committed about $20 million to prepare an "extraordinary" solar eclipse event for the thousands of visitors expected to visit Western Australia.

The sun, moon and earth are expected to align at 11.27am on April 20 next year, with Exmouth identified as the best land-based place in the world to view the eclipse.

Earlier today, Tourism Minister Roger Cook announced $19.3 million would be allocated in the 2022-23 budget for the total solar eclipse event, taking the total funding from the WA government to $21.1 million.

The funding comprises $8.2 million for road infrastructure upgrades and traffic management, $5.4 million to increase the region’s telecommunications infrastructure, and $5 million to the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation for event management.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will receive $1.1 million for event and waste management costs.

Mr Cook said it would be an extraordinary astronomical event, presenting a unique tourism opportunity for Exmouth and broader North West Cape.

“This will be the only land-based place in the world where people will be able to view 100 per cent of the total solar eclipse on land,” he said.

“This will be great for tourism operators and local businesses, with thousands of international and domestic visitors travelling to the Coral Coast region.

“An event of this size presents logistical challenges, particularly for telecommunications, roads and infrastructure, and this extra funding will help ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible.”

Despite the short timespan of the eclipse, Tourism WA is expecting visitors to stay in the region for about five days.

Thousands of tourists are expected to visit Ningaloo Coastal Reserve, Ningaloo Marine Park, Montebello Marine Park, Pilbara Inshore Islands, Cape Range National Park, Barrow Island Marine Management Area and the Giralia Station.

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