Babbage Island Holiday Park development plan gets green light

Published on Monday, 1 August 2022 at 12:22:37 PM

Proposed site for multimillion-dollar tourism development project, Babbage Island Holiday Park


The Local Development Plan for the $40 million Babbage Island Holiday Park project has been given approval by Council, which will provide major tourism and economic opportunities in the Shire of Carnarvon.


Proposed by the Westralian Marine Group, the Babbage Island redevelopment will be one of the biggest tourism projects ever undertaken in the Gascoyne region and is projected to bring an additional $30 million annually to the local Carnarvon economy.


A waterfront reserve surrounds the proposed site, which is south of the famous "One Mile Jetty" precinct and serves as a gateway to the coastal area. This location is currently occupied by a former fish and prawn processing plant that has existing workers' accommodation and occupies a space of more than 3,000 square metres.


The Holiday Park proposal will see the development of a first-class tourism facility, which would include refurbishment of the existing  accommodation units for tourism use provided along with a new reception residence adjacent to the entry. The development may also include the establishment of a brewery, a small aquarium, a seafront dining area, and a Rottnest Island style mini golf, trampolines, recreation area and associated café/kiosk.


Further expansion proposed under the development plan includes additional caravan and camping sites supporting amenities including a café/kiosk, several fire pits, restrooms, and recreation spaces such as a swimming pool, bowling green, playgrounds, and other lawn areas.


Moreover, glamping sites are proposed in the higher areas of the park to provide views of the ocean. Opportunities for further refurbishment and reuse of the existing seafood processing facility include ice creamery, badminton or squash court, climbing wall, and jungle gym.


A later stage development includes a new chalet accommodation on the higher ground offering panoramic views of the ocean, jetty and Carnarvon. A more significant bowling green arrangement could be established along with an amphitheater for other recreational activities such as outdoor movie screenings and sporting events.


“The redevelopment will make a significant contribution to the local economy by boosting tourism opportunities and creating construction, tourism and hospitality jobs for the area” said Kel Brown whose company has submitted the proposal to the Shire of Carnarvon. “The Babbage Island Factory was the largest seasonal employer in Carnarvon in its time and the proposed development will create new opportunities for local part time and permanent workers.”


The project is estimated to create more than 80 jobs during construction and 30 operational jobs to service the Babbage Island facility. It will also be able to accommodation up to 650 on-site visitors, and feature a café, brewery and restaurants with an approximate capacity of 350 patrons.


Shire President Eddie Smith said the development would enhance the region’s tourism offering and the park will be a huge drawcard for locals, interstate and international tourists.


“One of our priorities is to foster a thriving regional centre by supporting economic and tourism initiatives,” said Cr Smith. “Council recognises the significant opportunity this development would have on the Gascoyne region to help create jobs and boost tourism spending.”


“The Holiday Park will act as a long-term catalyst to tourism and cater for all kinds of holiday makers from outback camping to luxury getaways,” he added. “We welcome tourists to discover our tropical oasis in Carnarvon, which provides a distinctive coastal lifestyle, a rich cultural heritage, and breathtaking natural scenery.”


The Carnarvon Shire Council has taken great care to review the information provided in the proposal and assess them against relevant plans and policies. A consultation process has also been undertaken to ensure it complies with regulations and environmental assessments.

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