Bilya Koort Boodja operation times and visitor prices up for consideration

The Shire of Northam Council has been presented with a report outlining proposed fees and charges and operational hours of the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre.

The BKB centre is due to open in July 2018 and as part of preparations officers have been planning the operation of the centre. 

The recommendations in regard to both fees and charges, and opening hours, have been made after taking into account the operations of similar facilities throughout Western Australia and Australia.

The opening hours have been considered to align with the current opening hours of the Northam Visitor Centre, and considering one of the prime purposes of the facility, that of a tourist destination. 

Officers have said whilst there is an expectation that the centre will be accessible to the wider community, they need to make sure the centre is sustainable in the long term, therefore having the ability to levy fees for entry and room hire. 

The report identified if fees are not in line with “market rate” it reduces the number of visitors to visit more than once.

It said by overcharging for the experience, the BKB risks developing a “not value for money” reputation that will reduce the ability to attract visitors in the future. 

Reporting officer Ross Rayson said it is proposed that an incentive be provided to all residents in the Shire of Northam to visit the Centre by way of a family pass to each household in the first year of operation.

Additionally, given the significance of the facility, Officers recommend that a free family pass be given to Aboriginal residents of the greater Ballardong region in the first year of operation. 

The cost of mailing the free family pass to each resident within the Shire of Northam via an unaddressed Mail delivery is estimated at $1,000. 

It has been recommended that the Shire of Northam council vote in favour of:

  • Endorsing the opening hours of the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre 9am-4pm each day, excepting Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and Good Friday; 
  • Providing a free family pass to all households in the Shire of Northam in the first year of operation
  • Providing a free family pass to all Aboriginal residents of the greater Ballardong region in the first year of operation 
  • Adopting the schedule of fees and charges for the Bilya Koort Boodja

The proposed pricing list is as listed below. 

The prices are subject to change when Council discuss and vote on the recommendation on Wednesday 20 June.