World Heritage-listed Coral Bay to increase visitor population

Coral Bay, known for its picture-perfect snorkelling conditions, is set to see a significant visitor population boost.The WA Government says plans to significantly increase visitor numbers to the World Heritage-listed town of Coral Bay won’t have a negative environmental impact.

The state government has approved plans to increase Coral Bay’s visitor population by up to 800 people, or almost 20 per cent.

Planning Minister John Day said the Coral Bay Settlement Structure Plan 2014 provided a 25-year planning framework for future development and expansion of tourism within Coral Bay.

A spokeswoman for Mr Day said increasing the population cap from 4,500 to 5,300 people would be environmentally sustainable.

“The increase is in line with what the environment can handle,” she said.

“Everything can be managed. We’re looking after the environment over normalisation.

“Extensive modelling has been undertaken by the CSIRO.”

Mr Day said the increase of the population cap would allow a new camping ground and caravan park on Banksia Drive and strata-titled short stay accommodation on Lot 308.

“Permanent residential development will not be allowed, however the workers’ accommodation precinct on Lot 308 will remain for people who need to reside in Coral Bay as a result of their business or employment,” he said.

Shire of Carnarvon president Karl Brandenburg welcomed the plan.

“The Shire and the community of Coral Bay have worked tirelessly to ensure that Coral Bay remains the premier tourist area on the Ningaloo coast,” he said.

“I’m very happy because Coral Bay is a tourist node.

“It’s an environmentally sensitive area.”

Mr Brandenburg also said the planning involved consideration of environmental issues.  Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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