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$1.9 million upgrade to facilities and access at Purnululu National Park
Western Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacob has announced the completion of $1.9 million worth of improvements to Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley as part of an initiative to attract more tourists to the World Heritage-listed site.
Visiting the park on World Environment Day on Wednesday (5th June), Minister Jacob said Purnululu had experienced steady growth in visitor numbers in recent years, increasing from about 25,000 in 2010-11 to about 27,000 in 2011-12 alone.
He explained "the Bungle Bungle Range within Purnululu remains an iconic tourist location in Western Australia and it's important we not only protect the unique biodiversity of this national park but also ensure it remains a top visitor destination well into the future.
"More than $1million from the State Government's $78million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy has provided upgrades to road access, car parks and shade shelters in the park.
"A further $300,000 from the Department of Environment and Conservation's capital works budget has also improved car parks and increased power supply to the park.
"The Spring Creek Track has been improved with $300,000 in Royalties for Regions funding, while a further $300,000 in Commonwealth funding has helped improve some of the walking trails inside the park."
The Minister said walk trails into and between Echidna Chasm, Mini Palms Gorge and Homestead Gorge in the north-west part of the park had been created, re-routed and upgraded, along with the redesign and installation of new walk trail signage. Roads, car parks and shade shelters at the trail heads have been developed and upgraded to support the trails.
Minister Jacob concluded "visitors will now have all-weather 4WD access into the park following an upgrade to the Spring Creek Track entry road.
"This includes improvements to four critical creek crossings, to enable better and safer access from the highway to the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park on Mabel Downs Station during the wet season.
"Importantly, we have collaborated with local Aboriginal groups to ensure places with cultural importance are protected, and employed Aboriginal people in the construction works."
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