New laws promise WA tourism boost


The laws provide safety and protection guarantees that make WA a more attractive host in the eyes of international bodies and event organisers. Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Western Australia is a step closer to becoming a hub for major sporting tournaments after new laws pass that could attract event such as the Cricket World Cup, Rugby League World Cup, and Formula 1 grand prix to the state.

The Major Events Act became law in May it improves WA’s competitiveness to bid for and host large-scale games, tournaments and cultural festivals by providing provisions for organisers.

Premier of WA and former minister for tourism Roger Cook said the changes can mean the difference between WA scoring as the host city for things such as the Commonwealth Games and International Arts Festivals.

The legislation details how crowd control, traffic management and protection for the commercial interests of event organisers would be managed.

“[It] includes protections for official logos or titles,” Mr Cook told parliament.

This legislation brings WA in line with other states, including New South Wales and Victoria which already have similar laws in place.

But, under the new law, the State Government will have some broad power to change existing laws, including the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and Building Act 2011.

Shadow minister for community services Donna Faragher questioned the extraordinariness of this power during parliamentary debate.

“That is not a small number of acts that can be suspended or modified for a major event. As a legislator, I indicate that I have some concerns about this element,” Ms Faragher said.

How the law will operate with this ministerial power is yet to be seen, but more major events are expected to boost tourism in WA.

“Major events deliver significant economic, tourism and social benefits to the state,” Mr Cook said.

The UFC event held in Perth in February this year injected $5.3 million into the WA economy, with 70 per cent of the crowd being visitors from other states.

Last year saw WA’s highest tourism spending on record, according to Tourism Research Australia, with tourists injecting $14 billion into the WA economy.

Ms Faragher, the Tourism Council of WA, and shadow minister for tourism, Ms Merome Beard, were contacted but could not provide comments at the time this article was published.