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Bunbury DPaW HQ under review

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Civil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway.
Camera IconCivil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

The future of the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters in Bunbury is in doubt after the State Government has revealed it is reviewing the project.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Stephen Dawson confirmed the review, blaming the former Liberal National Government for “leaving us with the worst set of finances since the Great Depression”.

Civil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway.
Camera IconCivil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

The review of the multi-million dollar project was revealed when questions were raised by Opposition environment spokesman Dr Steve Thomas during parliament question time.

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Dr Thomas asked if the Government would complete construction of the headquarters and when DPaW staff would move in.

Civil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway.
Camera IconCivil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

In his response Minister Dawson confirmed the review, which will determine if the project is “financially prudent, represents value for money and is operationally sustainable”.

It comes as civil and landscaping works are well under way at the Koombana Drive site and building design works have started – although design works are not yet finalised, according to Minister Dawson’s response.

Civil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway.
Camera IconCivil and landscaping works at the planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is well underway. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

“That commitment of public service jobs out of the metropolitan area is completely at risk,” he said.

The project has previously been spruiked as creating 135 jobs during the construction phase and 600 once the headquarters were fully operational, generating an estimated $75 million per year for the region's economy.

Responding to whether he was confident the project would be completed, Mr Punch said he was confident the Government was committed to Bunbury, and it would be “irresponsible” not to review projects.

“I have been advocating projects that create opportunities and jobs for Bunbury, but also wholeheartedly support the need for a full analysis of each project to ensure the community will receive value for money,” Mr Punch said.

“In the current economic environment it would be irresponsible not to review the projects, identifying savings and make sure they are the right projects to best serve the community’s needs.

“I am confident the McGowan Government is committed to Bunbury and to delivering significant projects in Bunbury in keeping with our election commitments”

Minister Dawson’s spokeswoman said the Government would make further announcements about when the project would be delivered in the coming months.

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