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$40 million upgrade to Fitzgerald River National Park

$40 million upgrade to Fitzgerald River National Park
June 16, 2014

One of Australia’s largest and most significant national parks has undergone a $40 million upgrade designed to boost tourism along Western Australia’s south coast and stimulate local businesses.

During the recent officially opening of new facilities at Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Austrlian Premier Colin Barnett said improved access and visitor facilities would provide significant benefits for surrounding local communities.

Premier Barnett explained “the park is a major tourism attraction on the south coast and is world renowned for its unique flora and fauna, with more species of native animals found here than in any other reserve in the south of WA."

“The park’s spectacular and diverse landscapes are a key attraction for tourists and the completion of this major improvement program will allow better access to the spectacular south coast, while offering better protection for the park.

“A total of $40 million was provided by the State and Federal governments to upgrade road access, camping facilities, recreational sites and walking trails.  About $30million has been spent on road improvements with 40 kilometres of roads reconstructed and sealed, and a further 40 kilometres of gravel roads upgraded by the State Government.

“The Fitzgerald River National Park Improvement Project was instigated in 2009 after we reached agreement with the former Federal Government in the wake of BHP Billiton’s decision to close the Ravensthorpe nickel mine.  Although the region’s fortunes have changed for the better with the reopening of the mine, the new roads and facilities will serve the community - and the State - well into the future.”

Western Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacob said $10 million had been spent on a number of recreation sites within the park, adding "new visitor facilities including picnic areas, viewing platforms and walk trails have been created at Barrens Beach, Barrens Lookout, Four Mile Beach, East Mount Barren, Point Ann, Hamersley Inlet and Cave Point.

“For the first time in the park’s history, all main recreational sites and campgrounds on the eastern side of the park can now be accessed by a sealed all-weather bitumen arterial road from Hopetoun to Hamersley Inlet.”

The Park contains about 20% of Western Australia’s described plant species (1,883 plant species identified, 75 of which are found nowhere else in the world).

Several day-use areas have been redeveloped providing barbecues, picnic tables, shelters, lookout platforms and parking; two campgrounds established at Four Mile Beach and Hamersley Inlet; and two remote walk trails created in the park. 

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29th May 2014 - PARKS FOR PEOPLE FUNDING BOOSTS WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL PARKS

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