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The Swan Valley Explorer service finished on May 31.

Blow to Swan Valley tourism

THE Swan Valley Explorer has been cancelled after being in operation for less than 12 months.

ADAMS Charters confirmed the bus service, which was meant to transform the way international, interstate and local visitors and locals travel around the Swan Valley, finished on May 31.

A McGowan Government spokeswoman said an election commitment of $800,000 was made to tourism in the Swan Valley over a four-year period. 

“The funding was administered through Tourism WA, with $150,000 per annum allocated to Destination Perth for marketing activities and $50,000 to infrastructure projects managed by the City of Swan,’’ she said. 

“In 2018-19, the City chose to allocate the $50,000 infrastructure funding to the Swan Valley Explorer, a venture to be run by commercial operator ADAMS. 

“Tourism WA agreed to this use of the funds, as a hop on/hop off bus was identified as a priority in the City of Swan’s Tourism Strategy 2015-20, and was supported by the local tourism industry, represented by the Swan Valley Tourism Association.

“The contract for the service is a commercial agreement between the City of Swan and ADAMS. 

“Conversations about continuing the service would need to happen between those parties.’’

But Opposition Tourism and Small Business Libby Mettam said the government had promised big things for tourism in the Swan Valley but it had delivered very little.

 “Despite a conga line of McGowan Government Ministers lined up to congratulate themselves on the commencement of the Swan Valley Explorer bus service there has been an absence of effective support for this service which has been cancelled after just 8 months,’’ she said.

“There is no doubt that the cancellation of this service, will have a significant knock-on effect, limiting the potential to support future events in the region such as the new WA Gourmet Escape.

“The cancellation of the Swan Valley bus less than a year is symptomatic of the challenges facing tourism operators and small businesses in this state.

“This is a failure not only of the McGowan Government’s management of the tourism sector but is a sign of its failure to support small businesses across all sectors.”

The McGowan Government spokeswoman said the cancellation of the service would not impact the Gourmet Escape. 

“The event was developed before the hop on/hop off bus service was launched and the organisers have been planning transport options regardless,’’ she said.

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. The best part of her job was meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

3 comments

  1. Maybe now (hopefully) the Swan Valley believers may begin to realise that their area is not the eutopia for tourists that they may believe.

    I have repeatedly said over time there is a lot of work to be done to bring it up to scratch. Sometimes driving around and through it, it looks terrible. Sure, some operators take it seriously and care, sadly some don’t.

    It is not the council’s responsibility either, it is those who live and operate in the area.

    For starters there is not enough of anything, and the proposed planning laws sure won’t help that.

    I could go on with suggestions but I will leave it to the “experts”. They alway know best.

  2. Tourists need better than a bus service. The Swan Valley is blighted by traffic, and MetroNet will be terrific when it finally connects Ellenbrook, Averley and the Vines to the rail network, but immediately there is a tourist railway ready and awaiting its renaissance. The 120 year old railway that connects Midland Junction to Geraldton and Northampton runs up the east side of Swan Valley and can provide a tourist railway experience into the valley and foothills but also provide a rail connection for the new suburbs to the North, as well as the Swan valley, and including the Hills residents who drive in to our congested railhead that is Midland at the moment.

  3. i think its unfair and wasteful to introduce a (bus) service without infrastructure supporting that service. To blow $50k on a service without adequate promotion, so that at least it has its best shot at being a success, is crazy. And Im with Pat – the old railway would be a great tourist rail service.

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