The Exmouth Boat Harbour is set for a significant, multimillion-dollar facelift that will turn it into a thriving social hub as part of a 40-year blueprint for the facility. Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the facility, which sits 2km south of the town centre at the Exmouth Marina, had been largely under-utilised and claimed the blueprint would guide a new path for it to become a WA tourism icon. The new masterplan includes development potential for a boutique hotel, a microbrewery and other commercial, retail and tourism spaces. Developed by the Department of Transport, in close consultation with the Shire of Exmouth, Exmouth Chamber of Commerce, Gascoyne Development Commission and neighbouring business and community groups, the plan aims to activate prime waterfront land with views of the Exmouth Gulf in the northern precinct of the harbour. Ms Saffioti said the masterplan would provide the private sector with the confidence to drive investment at the facility and realise its vast potential. It would also help build a better connection between the harbour and Exmouth’s town centre. “Exmouth is the gateway to the Ningaloo Marine Park, one of our State’s most iconic natural attractions, and I think there is significant opportunity to transform this prime waterfront location into a high-quality hospitality, tourism and commercial precinct for the thousands of people that visit every year,” Ms Saffioti said. “Large parts of the Exmouth Boat Harbour are currently under-utilised and this presents us with significant opportunity to drive new investment, create jobs and boost the local economy. “Setting a future vision for the Exmouth Boat Harbour will allow the strategic development of this key coastal infrastructure asset and ensure it delivers economic and community benefits for Exmouth, the Gascoyne region and the State.” Ms Saffioti said the State Government would work closely with existing tenants within the harbour precinct as the long-term vision for the site was progressed. Other key features of the plan include new community areas with public open space and recreation areas, improved pedestrian and passive transport links between the harbour and town centre and better use of signage to attract and assist visitors to the harbour. Ms Saffioti said that as the biggest harbour south of the Pilbara, Exmouth was well-placed strategically as a service and support centre for operations associated with the resources sector in the north. Its close proximity to the Ningaloo Marine Park also presented significant opportunity in the tourism sector.