Tourism Council of WA calls for red tape reduction

Thermal pool. Picture: Tourism Council of WA.
Thermal pool. Picture: Tourism Council of WA.

THE Tourism Council of WA is calling on the State Government to reduce red tape for tourist attractions along the Swan River and across the state.

Potential business owners have to go through up to 14 local and State government agencies and departments for approvals and advice before starting their business.

In March, the council released a New Attractions for Perth document that lists possible tourist attractions, including thermal baths, eco-accommodation, seaplanes, a resort deck, barbecue buoys, a zipline and helicopter tours along the Swan River.

In response to the document, the State Government announced the creation of a Tourism Case Management Framework to help proponents of new attractions through the approvals process.

Staff from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation have been working with proponents on their applications.

Tourism Council of WA chief executive Evan Hall. Picture: Tourism Council of WA.

Tourism Council of WA chief executive Evan Hall said there were too many agencies for businesses to go through and it was an expensive process.

“The greatest problem is that it only takes one of them to say no and you have lost the whole thing,” he said.

“There is no one to say yes or no. At the end of all that, most of those approvals you get through is just incredibly time-consuming and risk-averse.”

Mr Hall said the Swan River Seaplanes had one-year trial approvals throughout its four years of operation and were looking for a longer-term approval.

“They haven’t been able to promote this over the world because they don’t know whether they are going to operate next year,” he said.

He said there were applications submitted for each of attractions listed in the council’s document.

Helicopter. Picture: Tourism Council of WA

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the framework team helped new tourism business ventures.

“We have many exciting projects on the go which include the Tawarri Hot Springs in Dalkeith and locating a new site for surf park operators Urbnsurf, amongst others,” he said.

“We are actively involved in the tender process for the Matagarup Bridge and Optus Stadium zipline and adventure activities.”

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokeswoman said the Department had been actively facilitating the delivery of new tourism opportunities within the Swan Canning Riverpark.

“In 2018-19, 24 commercial operator licences were approved on the Swan and Canning rivers,” she said.

Swan River Seaplanes did not respond to requests for comment.

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