In a potentially massive boon for the Peel, Mandurah's MP has become Western Australia's tourism minister.
Re-elected MP David Templeman was given the portfolio along with his currently responsibilities as Culture, Arts & Heritage Minister, when Premier Mark McGowan announced his cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.
"The two portfolios have very strong synergy," Mr Templeman said. "I'm looking very much forward to selling the state which includes the unique areas of the Peel.
"Regionally we've known the Peel is one of the best kept secrets in some ways."
He told the Mail after the announcement on Thursday that he would prioritise discussions with the City of Mandurah on the activation of Yalgorup National Park.
"I'm very interested in sitting down with the Mayor to see how we can further pursue opportunities that Yalgorup offers - not just for visitors but people who live there," he said.
While COVID had put WA into a unique situation in regards to tourism, the regions were generally doing very well, he said.
"People are getting out and about and venturing there," he said.
"It's how we continue to develop tourism opportunities so visitors have an array of experiences to tap into when they get there - that will be a focus."
Discounted direct flights to Perth
Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said Mr Templeman's first task was to secure discounted direct flights to Perth.
It was "a very critical moment for the future of the industry".
He said Mr Templeman's biggest challenge would be to sustain at-risk tourism businesses still struggling from the impact of the interstate border restrictions.
"It is critical that local tourism operators, whether it be tours, experiences, or accommodation, are supported and sustained until confidence in domestic travel across Australia returns, as many risk closure or mass job losses when JobKeeper ends next week."
"While regional hospitality and some tourism businesses are doing well, tours, attractions, and accommodation, particularly in Perth, are still struggling," he said.
"... it is unfair that other capital cities such as Darwin, Adelaide, and Hobart have now been added to the list of discounted flights announced by the federal government, while Perth still misses out."
MAIN CHANGES TO WA STATE CABINET
* Premier Mark McGowan takes on the treasury portfolio, replacing the retired Ben Wyatt
* Roger Cook continues as health minister, also adding state development, jobs and trade to his responsibilities
* Rita Saffioti adds ports to transport and planning portfolios
* Stephen Dawson to serve as mental health and Aboriginal affairs minister
* Paul Papalia moves to police and road safety, David Templeman adds tourism
* John Quigley remains attorney-general, Sue Ellery retains education portfolio, Alannah Mactiernan stays on in regional development
* Reece Whitby becomes emergency services and racing and gaming minister, overseeing the Crown Resorts royal commission
* Amber-Jade Sanderson enters the ministry with responsibility for the environment
* Tony Buti joins as finance minister
* Don Punch and John Carey also to be sworn in as ministers
* Michelle Roberts to become the first female Speaker of the lower house
* Peter Tinley dumped from cabinet, Fran Logan and Mick Murray retired.