Visitor centre powers up low carbon tourism plan

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Northcliffe Visitor Centre board president Jim Sale and manager Wendy Eiby.
Camera IconNorthcliffe Visitor Centre board president Jim Sale and manager Wendy Eiby. Credit: Tristan Wheeler/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times, Tristan Wheeler

Northcliffe Visitor Centre has thrown its support behind a low carbon tourism proposal from think tank Clean State.

The Low Carbon Local Tourism Stimulus Package calls for $190 million in funding, $115 million from the State Government and $75 million from the Commonwealth Government.

Funding would be spent on renewable energy for tourism businesses, national park and reserve infrastructure, marketing, and a conservation stimulus package for regions affected by COVID-19.

One of the big ticket items in the proposal is the energy efficiency and rooftop solar package, which would provide renewable energy to 10,000 tourism businesses.

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Visitor centre manager Wendy Eiby said the proposal would help the centre employ local people.

“We don't want to rely on volunteers, we want to be able to provide jobs for local people, so we make sure we have a paid staff member on duty seven days a week, but also we have some fixed costs like electricity, water and other operating costs,” she said. “It would be good to get some sort of renewable energy for the building.”

Clean Slate digital communications manager Luke Sweet said tourism was an area where the economy could be boosted while recovering from COVID-19.

“We know that during the summer, we are expecting big numbers of local tourists, then looking into 2021 with returning overseas visiting, now is a really great opportunity to set these local centres up to be prepared and to have that long term sustainable tourism front and centre,” he said.

“Some of these tourism centres are running off the smell of an oily rag and we just think it’s a great opportunity to put solar on rooftops, upgrade infrastructure and make these buildings like the Northcliffe Visitor Centre really energy efficient.

“That’s going to save on running costs, utility costs and make sure that both the people working at the visitor centre and other tourism operators right across the South West in WA can focus on what they are really good at.”

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