$3.08m to finish strip job

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Acting Shire president Pauline McLeod with Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and BCP group director Kyle Jackson in Margaret River on Friday.
Camera IconActing Shire president Pauline McLeod with Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and BCP group director Kyle Jackson in Margaret River on Friday. Credit: Warren Hately

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River now has the funds to push through and finish the full redevelopment of Margaret River’s main strip.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan dropped in last Friday with a $3.08 million cheque funding the final stage in the project, fast-tracked during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Taxpayer-backed stimulus money — which also included $6.27m for a new sports oval at Margaret River Senior High School — was earmarked to drive the local economy through the key construction project.

“Through the WA Recovery Plan, we’re getting the WA economy back on track with shovel-ready projects that drive employment and also improve amenity,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“We’ve fast-tracked this funding to minimise disruption to local traders and provide a jobs boost for the local economy.

“The main street redevelopment will be a boost to the local tourism industry, helping this sector to bounce back after it was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The final stage of the project includes the “hill precinct” from the new roundabout on Wallcliffe Road down to Willmott Avenue, as well as the Fearn Avenue festival precinct.

Trees were removed this week in anticipation of streetscaping which will include the planting of mature trees as the project starts to wrap up.

Acting Shire president Pauline McLeod said the money brought the final vision for the redevelopment into sight.

“Whilst the works have caused disruption for our community, the critical upgrades to stormwater infrastructure, safer intersections, pedestrian-friendly street and new festival precinct will be well worth it,” she said.

“Continuing the works will also support ongoing employment for the many local subcontractors working on the job, which in turn supports their families and the local economy.”

The funding breakthrough saves the Shire borrowing to complete the project, but comes as some traders continue to lament the loss of car parking bays.

The Shire said a community information session would be scheduled for business operators in coming weeks, with details on the mainstreetmakeover.com.au website.

About 90 per cent of project spending was within the South West, with 50 per cent within the shire, the Shire said.

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