Bunbury to Margs

Murray McHenryAugusta Margaret River Times
Murray McHenry. Photo Ross Swanborough. 040820
Camera IconMurray McHenry. Photo Ross Swanborough. 040820 Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian, Ross Swanborough

We’re blessed living in Western Australia, however we must use and invest in our natural and people resources to improve life for all our citizens and showcase our State to visitors.

Our State Government has put massive effort into driving down regional airfares to places such as Broome, yet there are wonderful opportunities to invest in infrastructure that enhances tourism for decades to come.

One such opportunity is to bring back the railway from Bunbury to Augusta. Our Margaret River region is globally recognised for its natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle, yet its distance from Perth still puts off people from visiting.

I’d like to see WA develop a high-quality tourist train, loaded with our sensational food and wines. It should depart Bunbury and stop in towns from Dunsborough to Augusta, delivering visitors to communities along our world-class Cape to Cape route.

If this rail experience extended to Perth, then travellers and locals in the South West could enjoy the train to the city to attend the football and other events at Optus Stadium.

While I’m passionate about our South West because of my long connections with the region, the Kimberley is one of the most extraordinary parts of WA. Visiting in my AFL / WAFC roles, I’ve witnessed not just amazing landscapes, but the talent of Aboriginal youth who love sports and idolise champions. Aboriginal youth are finding out too slowly what others can see.

Namely, that as individuals and a community they possess incredible skills and can rise to the levels of their heroes.

Sadly for a wealthy State, local facilities are missing, so there are real constraints on individuals’ ability to achieve their potential, including challenges of vast distances.

If we combined State and Federal Government support with more private funding from our resources sector, and sports like AFL, we could embark on much-needed programs to help Aboriginal youths make the most of the lives and lead their communities.

To see the faces of Aboriginal youths showing off their talents is wonderful, and I’d like to dedicate myself to make this happen for the next generation.

Only a few will make it to the top, but everyone who tries will go home and educate the next generation, improving Aboriginal life in the Kimberley by doing what they love most — sport.

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