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WA to get a new national park, quad centre

AAP logoAAP 14/08/2016

A new quadriplegic centre, a national park and a sealed road at a tourist hot spot have been announced at the Liberal state conference in Perth.

WA Premier Colin Barnett said the current Quadriplegic Centre in Shenton Park, which housed 48 people with a disability, was more than 50 years old and needed to be replaced.

Costing up to $30 million, the new residential facility would better reflect modern care for patients with spinal injury, he told reporters on Sunday.

Mr Barnett also announced that the Abrolhos Islands, in the state's Mid West region, would become a national park.

Currently, only 21 of the 123 islands contain some fishing infrastructure, including shacks and private jetties.

The Abrolhos Islands National Park will cover the unoccupied islands and will be managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, while the water will continue to be managed by the Department of Fisheries as a fish protection zone.

Mr Barnett said that meant people would be able to visit the islands and stay overnight, while commercial and recreational fishing would continue as normal.

For the popular Kimberley region, Mr Barnett announced $65 million to seal the remaining 90km of road between Broome and Cape Leveque.

He said the project would assist tourists, businesses and more than 1400 Aboriginal people living in 71 communities in the area.

"It may be done in stages but we will get on with that road," he said.

The premier also reiterated a pledge he made at last year's state conference that if re-elected the Liberals would introduce a 9am start for Sunday shopping instead of the current 11am opening time.

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