A $2.4 million upgrade to wastewater infrastructure in Coral Bay will provide a boost to the region’s growing tourism industry. The upgrade, funded by the McGowan Government, has been finished and included a second evaporation pond built at the Coral Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant. This means it can receive an extra 45,000 litres of wastewater daily. A spillway has also been built, connecting the existing evaporation pond and emergency infiltration area to better protect the environment and infrastructure from potential overflows during extreme rainfall events. The project, delivered by the Water Corporation, will bolster the continued growth of tourism in the town and along the Ningaloo coast, while also catering for the expansion of existing businesses and accommodation providers. It invested more than $230,000 back into the local economy, with quarry materials and concrete supplied by local sub-contractors in Exmouth, with some plant hire, water supply and accommodation from Bullara Station. In addition, the project has helped support local jobs and is part of the more than $180m the Government has injected into new and existing water and wastewater projects in the Mid West and Gascoyne since 2017. Water Minister Dave Kelly said the region’s emerging reputation as a major tourism destination needed to be supported by adequate infrastructure. “Visitors to WA’s Ningaloo region contributed around $110 million to the WA economy in 2020 and tourism in the region provides more than 1000 local jobs,” he said. “It’s vital we have the infrastructure in place behind the scenes to allow communities like Coral Bay to grow and prosper into world-class tourist destinations.” He said this project was an investment in Coral Bay’s future, supporting new and existing businesses, tourism providers and growth of the wider community. Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster said the Government was focused on supporting tourism projects in the Gascoyne, with the industry accounting for about 90 per cent of the local economy. “It’s especially pleasing to see Water Corporation’s strong focus on environmental stewardship with the construction of an infiltration pond to mitigate the risk of an overflow after periods of heavy rain,” he said.