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$20 million boost for conservation and nature-based tourism in WA
The Western Australian Government's 'Royalties for Regions' program has delivered a $20 million boost to regional tourism with the announcement of a range of significant projects throughout State's most popular parks.
Speaking at the Kalbarri National Park, Western Australian Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the projects would create local jobs in construction and tourism through the development of new and improved tourism infrastructure such as roads, visitor facilities, campsites and eco-friendly accommodation.
Minister Faragher explained "Kalbarri is one of WA's top tourism destinations which is why we are investing $5.8million to improve an 11km stretch of road that brings more than 30,000 vehicles each year to spectacular locations along the Murchison River, such as the Z Bend and Nature's Window.
"In addition, we will be spending a further $700,000 on visitor infrastructure, primarily focusing on upgrading walk trails and installing bike racks in the park."
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls welcomed the funding package and said it would help people enjoy WA's spectacular parks, stating "national parks are places for people to visit as well as the cornerstone of nature conservation and we want to promote both."
Minster Faragher said the funding would also help expand the Naturebank initiative to give tourists and local holiday-makers the option to explore some of the Stateâs finest landscapes within easy reach of world-class, ecotourism accommodation.
Naturebank, a joint initiative of the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation and Tourism WA, identifies and prepares suitable sites for culturally and environmentally sustainable tourist accommodation.
Minister Faragher added "when you look at a breathtaking tourism destination such as the Bungle Bungles at World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park, you can see why it's important to provide facilities that meet the expectations of local and international tourists who are drawn to the awe-inspiring beauty of WA's natural environment.
"Our initial, targeted investment through Royalties for Regions and Naturebank is designed to encourage visionary tourism operators to grow their regional businesses by investing in accommodation and experiences that will flourish within the Stateâs best national parks in an environmentally sustainable way"
Minister Grylls said the projects would provide a boost to the nature-based tourism industry, employment and other business opportunities in regional WA, adding "parks are the basis for WA's tourism profile around the world and are popular destinations for local holidays and recreational activities.
"This investment from Royalties from Regions is also targeted at providing more affordable caravan and camping opportunities, which addresses many of the recommendations of the Parliamentary inquiry into caravan and camping in WA that the Liberal-National Government has supported."
The projects that will share the $20million Royalties for Regions investment over the next four years are:
Improved camping and visitor facilities
• Lane Poole Reserve
• Cape Range National Park
• Wellington National Park
• Yalgorup National Park (Timâs Thickett)
• Serpentine National Park (Gooralong)
• Torndirrup National Park
• Kalbarri National Park.
• Francois Peron National Park
• Purnululu National Park
• Cape Le Grande National Park
• Windjana Gorge National Park
• Wharncliffe Mill, near Margaret River.
Better, safer roads
• Kalbarri National Park
• Karajini National Park
For more information go to www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/section/33/1558/
8th September 2010 - WA GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES WORLD-CLASS SAFARI CAMP FOR THE BUNGLE BUNGLES
9th October 2009 - NEW PROGRAM TO OFFER UNIQUE NATIONAL PARK EXPERIENCES
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