Tourism generates jobs and wealth for Western Australians. In 2005, over 6.5 million people visited the State generating approximately $4billion in income. Direct and indirect tourism employment is estimated at 72,000 people - approximately 7.7 percent of the Western Australian workforce. Tourism is particularly important in providing jobs in regional areas.
In September 2002 we established the Tourism Planning Taskforce to investigate whether our planning rules properly catered for this industry – how we protected tourism sites from inappropriate residential development, how we could better zone caravan parks and what impact strata titling had on tourism facilities.
The Taskforce investigations provided the opportunity for the factors and issues that have shaped the development of the State’s unique and highly valued tourism industry to be explored. This in turn led to the setting of key principles, which will ensure a sustainable tourism industry, based on appropriate development and the maintenance of affordable and equitable access to the community’s most valued holiday locations.
The key principle identified is that a sustainable tourism industry, with its many inherent benefits, requires tourism development to be undertaken for tourism purposes. To achieve this, the Taskforce has recommended an increased focus on land-use planning for tourism, formulated at a regional and local level. Also recommended is a State framework that recognises the high value the community places on strategic sites, and emphasises the continuing use of these for tourism purposes.
This Report presents a significant reform of tourism planning in Western Australia. The Government’s endorsement of the Report recognises that greater emphasis will be given to land use planning for tourism in Western Australia.