THE State Government has announced plans to turn the Perth Hills and Pickering Brook areas into tourism hubs.
Tourism WA will assist a taskforce to establish a new planning and tourism strategy for the region.
The taskforce will examine issues such as a rejuvenated town centre for Pickering Brook, accommodation facilities, diversification options for existing horticultural businesses and branding for the Perth Hills.
Tourism minister Paul Papalia said the region was a fantastic asset for the Perth metropolitan area.
“Pickering Brook and surrounding areas have some truly unique attractions that form a key part of our Tourism WA campaigns,” he said.
“Celebrating WA’s gourmet food and wine is a key part of our tourism Two-Year Action Plan and the Perth Hills is the perfect place to indulge in quality produce, whether it’s having a drink from a local cidery or picking your own strawberries from a nearby farm.”
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said she was aware of the challenges facing orchardists in the region and the government would work with them to best capitalise on the region’s potential.
“I grew up on a family orchard and know just how beautiful this place can be,” she said.“The need for planning certainty is paramount, as is the need to strike the right balance between retaining priority agricultural land and allowing new businesses to flourish.”
Premier Mark McGowan said the state needed to capitalise on the region’s picturesque scenery.
“It’s time we develop a proper plan for this precinct, so it can thrive into the future and attract more visitors, boosting our local tourism industry and creating new jobs along the way,” he said.
Existing landowners, orchardists and local government representatives will all be involved in the taskforce’s consultation phase.