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THERE is a bit of nervousness in tourism at the moment as to what kind of impact the new state government will have on the industry. Question marks have already started to appear over tourism-related infrastructure projects in the Perth metropolitan area, such as the Perth waterfront development, the performing arts centre, museum, Northbridge Link, and Fremantle’s North Port Quay development. All of these developments could meet with substantial delays or face being scaled down, depending on the amount of funding to be redirected for the Nationals’ Royalties for Regions plan. The new government also hasn’t clarified the details of its ‘modest’ changes to retail trading hours, something the industry, by and large, has been after for some time to bring our booming state in line with progressive, international standards. During the election campaign, the Liberal Party provided assurances to the industry that, if elected, it would allocate the tourism portfolio to a senior cabinet minister. Its response to the Tourism Council of WA’s policy paper was noticeably short on detail, however. Let’s hope the government sees the long-term benefits of projects and policies that can make the state a more vibrant and liveable place, and an attractive option for those looking to move here to fill the state’s growing skills gaps.

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