12/12/2007 - 22:00

Road drives Jurien investment

12/12/2007 - 22:00


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Local business has welcomed the long-awaited funding for the final link in the Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth, announced by Premier Alan Carpenter last week.

Road drives Jurien investment

Local business has welcomed the long-awaited funding for the final link in the Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth, announced by Premier Alan Carpenter last week.

A queue of housing estates, resort projects and tourism ventures have been waiting for the state government to give the stalled project the go-ahead after earlier promises failed to be included in previous budgets.

Mr Carpenter delivered the good news himself, travelling to Geraldton, a Labor-held seat, to make the announcement.

And while Geraldton will benefit from the new 65-kilometre road, the region around Cervantes and Jurien in the Shire of Dandaragan is set to reap the most rewards.

The new stretch of road will knock at least half an hour off the travelling time from the end of the Mitchell Freeway, at a cost of $110 million.

Dandaragan CEO Clinton Strugnell said the road funding was much needed, especially after enthusiasm for projects prompted by earlier expectations of the road had started to wane.

“The whole economy of the region has been driven by a commitment to the road,” Mr Strugnell said.

“A lot of these developments have been waiting for the road to come through.”

Former Broome hotelier Ken Fitzgerald’s planned $2.3 million Jurien Bay Marina Resort is one project that had been postponed until a solid commitment was received from government.

Among other developments in the area are a 2,000-lot development called North Head, and a smaller up-market seaside property development in Jurien called Seagate Marina Estate. State government developer LandCorp is also involved in various projects in the area.

The biggest player of all is Perth-based Ardross Developments Pty Ltd, which has 9,000 lots planned for its Turquoise Bay project, including industrial land and some innovative resort developments.

Ardross general manager David Lantzke said it was time to end the anomaly of a giant cul-de-sac at Lancelin, where the coastal road will now link through to Cervantes, encouraging tourism traffic and local traffic off the Brand Highway and improving access to the iconic Pinnacles tourist attraction.

Mr Lantzke said the two traditional mainstays of the region, farming and fishing, were not able to guarantee economic buoyancy for the region.

“When these things are struggling you have to look at diversifying,” he said.

“Tourism is a key to that.”

In February, the Shire of Dandaragan granted approval to Burswood-based Taggart Developments to construct the $100 million Jurien Bay Beach Resort in Jurien Bay, featuring 106 strata-titled apartments and villas on a four-hectare property situated right on the bay.

Taggart general manager Nick Di Lello said the company had previously decided to go ahead with the development, despite the delays to the road, with construction set to start in April by Perth-based VDM Group Ltd. 

At the service end of the region, the anticipation of the road has been frustrating, with its absence from the last state budget surprising many.

“Most business people in town have been waiting for it to happen and expect it to have an impact,” said Jurien-based real estate agent Ian Kelly, principal of Professionals Jurien Bayview Realty.

“What we need is the next phase of growth, for people to come here and work.”


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