Low carbon, local tourism

WA’s tourism industry is one of our biggest employers and has also been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Ordinarily, WA’s tourism industry contributes $12.2 billion in revenue yearly and employs 109,000 people across the state – the large majority in micro and small businesses. In regional areas the industry accounts for up to 26% of total employment, often making up the backbone of remote communities’ economies. Ordinarily, the tourism sector is as large as the mining sector.

The impact of COVID-19 has seen industry revenue decrease by $3.1 billion and more than 30,000 jobs have been lost so far – one-third of the industry.

Jobs and Benefits

This package would create 3145 jobs, including up to 2000 in conservation, 2100 in energy efficiency and solar, and 1000 in infrastructure, arts and design.

By virtually eliminating operators’ power bills overnight, it will create much needed savings to business’ bottom lines of between $800-$1600 each year.

Tourism Carbon Savings

Clean State is advocating for an Energy Efficiency package that would provide a free refurbishment package to the office (or home office) of operators including insulation, efficient lighting and water fittings, replacing heating and cooling.

The scheme would also reduce emissions by 84,000 tonnes, which would be worth $37.8m over 30 years at a price of $15/tonne.

What would it cost?

A total of $190.7 million is proposed in this package, including:

  • $75m for the Conservation Stimulus package (assuming co-funding from the Commonwealth government);
  • $50m for 10,000 Energy Efficiency and Solar power upgrades to operators;
  • $22m for Infrastructure upgrades and artists package for interpretive/signage upgrades in Parks and Reserves
  • $35m for Trails and Infrastructure and Interpretive/signage upgrades including a local artist package;
  • $5m for Local Tourist Inforamtion Centres and Visitor facilities
  • $1.5m for Regional Tourism Operators;
  • $2m for Citizen Science promotion; and
  • $200,000 Department resources to investigate zero carbon transport at and between destinations 

The proposal

Clean State is proposing a range of measures that will create over 5000 local jobs for West Australians. Our package includes:

  1. An urgent Conservation stimulus package for tourist regions particularly hard hit by COVID-19 including Albany (Kinjarling), Denmark, Augusta-Margaret River, Busselton, Wyndham-East Kimberley, Broome, Shark Bay, and Exmouth creating 2000 full-time jobs. ($75m, with matched funding from the Commonwealth)
  2. A marketing campaign encouraging West Aussies to support local tourism and book a trip in their backyard this year
  3. An Energy Efficiency & Rooftop Solar package to 10,000 tourism businesses to eliminate their power bills overnight, creating local economic stimulus.
  4. Infrastructure upgrades in national parks and reserves, and a funding package for local artists to update and upgrade signage at key tourist and cultural sites.
  5. Build more walkways, bike paths and touring trail circuits across all five tourist regions to match the massive trend uptick in hiking and cycle tourism.
  6. An immediate funding boost to local tourist information centres and visitor facilities for upgrades to facilities, exhibitions, interpretative signage.
  7. New, zero-carbon transport infrastructure in and between major destinations, including trackless trams and electric buses.
  8. Supporting and promoting citizen-science travel opportunities that deliver meaningful experiences to guests and leverage volunteers into conservation efforts.
  9. Provide additional seed funding of $300,000 for each of the state’s 5 Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) to help identify and implement eco-tourism product development projects.
  10. Funding for permanent monitoring of tourism-related GHG emissions at the UN World Tourism Organisation’s ‘Sustainable Tourism Observatory’ here in WA in order to trace well-informed mitigation strategies.
Chelle standing in front of a whale mural

Down Under Discoveries

Down Under Discoveries is a family-owned tour company offering a range of nature-based experiences in WA’s south-west. Owner and Eco-Certified Guide, Chelle Fisher has a vision and mission of inspiring women to maintain and improve all aspects of their mental health through building a connection to the outdoors.

“Our aim is to create connections, build awareness and understanding for people about the natural places around them so they develop a level of care and commitment for the environment as we do.” 

Headshot of Paul


Paul Iskov, head chef and owner of WA pop-up restaurant Fervor supports a low carbon, local tourism stimulus package to create over 5000 jobs and implement more eco-tourism initiatives.

“The main focus for us is to leave nothing behind, to leave it better than how we found it. We have all these beautiful landscapes around us, but we’ve really got to take care of it. I think it’s really important for us as tour operators to keep that in mind.”

Headshot of Liz

Centre of Sustainable Tourism

Liz Jack from the Centre of Sustainable Tourism supports our 10-point low carbon, local tourism jobs plan, which includes measures like infrastructure upgrades to national parks and funding boosts for local artists.

“Sustainable tourism is much more than beautiful scenery and adventure-based experiences. It’s a closed system of education and custodial contribution to make sure the resources are available for our children and people to come.”