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Broome’s bold blueprint

A BLUEPRINT for the future of Broome growing at an annual estimated rate of seven per cent will provide huge tourism investment and business oppor-tunities in the State’s north west.

The growth figure compares with a national average of 3-4 per cent per annum.

Proposals approved in principle under a newly released govern-ment “master plan” include the relocation of Broome internat-ional airport to a site 12 km north of the town with an adjacent industrial zone, a new power station, areas for Aboriginal tenure and heritage, and the development of a satellite or sister town at the as yet scarcely developed beach resort of Coconut Well.

The area, of outstanding natural beauty, has sweeping ocean views to the north of Broome sparsely settled by a small number of mainly up-market, large block alternative lifestyle residents.

The report recommends the release of 800 hectares for tourism, residential and rural residential opportunities at Coconut Well.

In the middle will be a “cultural corridor” that will accommodate representations by the Aboriginal people relating to the land and the flora and fauna of the area and a botanical park.

There are provisions for a major tourism develop-ment north of Willie Creek with an area of about 100 hectares earmarked while a further area of about 1000 hectares north of Willie Creek, 15-20 minutes away from Broome has been designated for urban residential development for about 4,000 people with a golf course and space for further expansion.

Shire President Cr Kevin Fong says it could easily become “another Broome”.

Planners say that Broome’s full-time population is likely to double to more than 20,000 during the next 20 years. International back-packers through the pearling town are potentially estimated to reach up to 60,000 per annum.

Latest figures show that domestic visitor activity to the Kimberley region for 1998-99 was 460,00.

The total domestic and international tourism numbers to the region last year topped 522,000, according to the Kimberley Tourism Assoociation.

The definitive expansion and development plan is detailed in the 10-years-in-the-making Water-bank Structure plan 2000 recently unveiled in Broome by WA Minister for Lands Doug Shave.

It makes use of 315,512 hectares of land extending 60 km along the spectacular coastline to the north of Broome and 80 km east to meet the Great Northern Highway.

The land was acquired by the WA Government with the 1996 purchase of the Waterbank Station pastoral lease and subsequent de-stocking and termination of pastoral operations.

Department of Land Admini-stration manager Denis Millan says the report establishes the principles and not the details.

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