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Pressure mounts on Broome facilities

BROOME’S increasing popularity as a holiday destination has put inevitable pressures on the town, and with residential land in short supply amid ongoing Native Title negotiations, land availability is expected to reach a critical stage in the near future. The shortage of land has pushed average prices up to well above those experienced in the Perth property sector. WA Business News understands that negotiations with the Rubibi traditional owners, which have been ongoing for over a decade, will either reach a conclusion next month or will take the next step and go to court. With tourism operators recording a record year last year and expecting further increases this year, there are not enough beds in peak season to accommodate inbound tourists. More than $100 million worth of tourism development is planned for Broome but operators are saying that they cannot find or retain sufficient local staff. To counter this problem, some operators have taken to recruiting staff from overseas. And while the skills shortage is not a problem unique to regional areas, it is aggravated in Broome by the increasing popularity and accessibility of the area.

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