Whyalla’s growing tourism industry has received a boost with the announcement of an Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback Futures Program grant of $85,000 towards upgrading visitor facilities at the cuttlefish aggregation area near the city.
The Giant Australian Cuttlefish is iconic to Whyalla, and its surrounding waters are each year home to the largest aggregation in the world of these creatures, providing a tourism experience unrivalled in Australia.
Overseen by Whyalla City Council, the $205,000 project will enhance the tourism offering in the city, giving better access to the cuttlefish viewing area for divers, snorkelers and non-divers alike.
Road upgrades and a new car park will allow a wider range of vehicles, including coaches, to access the site, while weather protection, seating and interpretive signage will improve visitors’ experience.
The project has also received $40,000 support from Port Bonython Fuels Pty Ltd to progress the upgrade.
The $2 million Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback Futures Program is a once-off grants program, which opened in November last year in recognition of the challenges brought about by the downturn of the resources sector and the closure of the Port Augusta power station and Leigh Creek coal mine.
The program supports the delivery of small projects contributing to the economic diversification, resilience and capacity building of Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback communities, creating sustainable economic benefits to the region and the State.
This project supports the State Government’s economic priority of ‘South Australia – a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers’.
Quotes attributable to Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock
The enhancements to this existing tourism site will give Whyalla the opportunity to grow cuttlefish tourism and promote the regional city as a tourism destination.
This project will enhance the economic value of tourism, support and diversify the economy and create opportunities for new ventures and tour operators in Whyalla and surrounds.
Retail and hospitality, transport and accommodation sectors will all benefit directly through increased economic activity within Whyalla’s visitor economy.
Thirteen construction jobs, using many local contractors, will be created as a result of this project.
State, local and regional development agencies have clearly identified tourism as critical to the economic future of Whyalla and surrounding areas.
Quotes attributable to Lyn Breuer, Mayor, Whyalla City Council
Council has recognised the need and opportunity to develop the visitor economy and the significance of the Cuttlefish to Whyalla and South Australia.
Seizing this opportunity means developing suitable access to the cuttlefish site and offering facilities that will enhance visitors’ experience while reflecting the uniqueness of the area and the wildlife.
Council has extensively consulted with current users of the area, and with the broader diving community, to ensure what we’re developing will suit their needs.
We are very grateful to the State Government for backing our vision with this grant, as this upgrade is another step in our broader tourism strategic plan for Whyalla.
Quote attributable to Mr Yasuyuki Suzuki, Chief Executive Officer, Port Bonython Fuels Pty Ltd
As a contributing corporate citizen of the region, we are very pleased to have supported this project which will improve the cuttlefish tourism experience for visitors coming to Whyalla.