Minister Reopens Popular Tourist Attraction

Minister Reopens Popular Tourist Attraction

Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls

Western Australia’s Biggest Show Cave Reopens And Augusta Telecentre Rebranded

Victor P Taffa

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls today officially reopened Augusta’s Jewel Cave, which is sparkling more than ever following a multi-million dollar Polish.

During the past year, a $3.1 Million redevelopment has transformed the popular tourist attraction, with upgrades made to both preserve and enhance the ancient wonder.

Mr. Grylls said he was pleased that the State Government’s Royalties for Regions South West Regional Grants Scheme had provided funding towards the redevelopment.

As part of the revamp, 50-year-old buildings and associated infrastructure were removed, a new cave entrance and tunnel constructed, and a striking new visitor centre housing a cafe, shop and interpretative display built.

“The redevelopment now provides easier access for visitors and allows for a more eco-friendly environment around the cave entrance.” the Minister said.

With buildings removed, the new entrance allows natural filtration of water back into the cave, protecting threatened ecological communities known as stygofauna. New environmentally-friendly lighting which will illuminate the caverns is also being installed.

Mr. Grylls congratulated the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association for its vision to improve Western Australia’s biggest show cave.

“As well as the direct environmental benefits to the cave, the redevelopment creates a first rate experience for visitors.” Mr. Grylls said.

“I am pleased $443,828 in grants from Royalties for Regions through the South West Development Commission has helped to make this redevelopment a reality.”

During his visit to Augusta area, the Minister also attended the official launch of the rebranding of the Augusta Community Resource Centre (CRC), which was previously known as the Augusta Telecentre.

“Telecentres struggled in recent years to obtain funding however with the introduction of the Liberal-National State Government’s Royalties for Regions program in 2009 and the change of identity to the WA Community Resource Network, the network is once again in a position to provide this vital Regional Service.” Mr. Grylls said.

“Additional funding provided through Royalties for Regions to the network and the Augusta Community Resource Centre will support the delivery of a range of initiatives to enhance access to government information and services.”

“CRCs have historically provided access to Government information and services and, with a funding boost, can provide the Augusta community with increased availability and access within a designated area decked out with the latest IT for use free of charge.”

“Access to video conferencing has always been paramount to the operations of CRCs and funding to upgrade video conferencing infrastructure, IT support and development has certainly been welcomed across the network.” Mr. Grylls said.

To date, 106 Community Resource Centres are operating around the State with additional centres expected to open in 2011 (Gascoyne Junction, Brunswick Junction, Menzies, Pinjarra, and Mount Barker).