Popular watering holes across the State could benefit from $16 million under an elected Nationals WA party. With the Dardanup Tavern as the backdrop, leader Mia Davies, South West candidate James Hayward and Collie-Preston candidate Wayne Sanford announced the $16 million Country Pubs pledge last week. “Local pubs and hotels play an important role in the community fabric and history of their towns, celebrated by locals and sought after pit stops for visitors,” Ms Davies said. “These pubs have done it tough over the past year with lockdowns and venue capacity restrictions, staff shortages and challenges to freight and logistics. “Our commitment will give these venues some much-needed support to undertake restoration works and accommodation upgrades with a focus on pre-1950s buildings.” Dardanup Tavern owner Anthony Smith said the popular watering hole was the only communal place in the town. “This is the place where everyone will come to catch up or celebrate an occasion,” Mr Smith said. “With the building over 100 years old, it is costly to keep it up to the modern code so the money could go towards that.” Ms Davies said upskilling staff and supporting hospitality pathways was an important element of the scheme. “The policy will reimburse half of the course cost for accredited training for brewing, distilling and other related hospitality courses to help young regional workers passionate about hospitality have greater access to career development opportunities,” she said.