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New Western Sydney Zoo gets planning approval
An ambitious proposal to build a cage free zoo at Blacktown in Sydney's west has been approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.
The 16.5-hectare zoo, to be located within the Western Sydney Parklands at Bungarribee, 33 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD, aims to feature over 30 exhibits which will be viewed from elevated board walks and glassed observation areas.
Animal exhibits at the privately-funded $36 million attraction won't be caged, with the animals left to roam free.
A key element of its design will be elevated boardwalks over its ‘African grasslands’ display that will be home to lions, cheetahs, zebras, elephants, giraffes and rhinos; along with an underwater glass view facility for hippos, crocodiles and aquatic life; native Australian reptile and nocturnal animals house featuring leading exhibit design methods; and a native fish aquarium.
Documents claim that the new Western Sydney Zoo will attract 750,000 people a year and will contribute about $45 million a year to the NSW economy and $3 million in extra tourist spending.
Welcoming the prospect of over 120 jobs becoming available at the Zoo, Deputy Mayor of Blacktown Council Tony Beasdale stated “this kind of activity, this kind of decision is going to go a long way for us in terms of tourism (and) job creation.
"It will be a massive expansion of western Sydney, particularly in Blacktown, so it shows that people are putting their money where the entertainment is going to be."
NSW Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres and NSW Minister for Environment Gabrielle Upton said Sydney Zoo will offer an unparalleled tourism experience.
Minister Ayres stated “Sydney Zoo will set a new standard in visitor experience and have people coming back time and time again.
“Set to be Australia’s most technologically advanced and innovative zoo in Australia, it will also feature an incredible integrated Aboriginal and natural heritage program, focusing on the local Darug people of Western Sydney.”
NSW Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton said Sydney Zoo will intensify the attraction of Western Sydney Parklands, a hugely significant parcel of land which will offer residents and visitors alike a vibrant recreation space.
She added “Western Sydney Parklands is the largest urban park in Australia and on the backdoor of more than two million residents.
“It is the natural home for a world-class exotic and native animal conservation and exhibition facility, and important education resources like the Educational Amphitheatre, Aquarium, Insectarium and Reptile and Nocturnal House.”
Building work is set to start later this year with the facility set to open before the 2018 summer school holidays.
However, doubts exist about the Zoo’s ability to source its planned exotic animals with international treaties requiring Zoos to access animals from breading programs rather than the wild.
Images: Artist's impressions of animal exhibits at the planned Western Sydney Zoo, from top: elephants, tigers and the aquarium.
13th February 2017 - WESTERN SYDNEY ZOO PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO PLANNING COMMISSION FOR FINAL DECISION
5th May 2016 - NEW OPERATIONS APPOINTMENT AT FEATHERDALE WILDLIFE PARK
7th April 2016 - NEW WESTERN SYDNEY ZOO PLANS TO MAKE THE MOST OF TECHNOLOGY
30th December 2015 - NEW WESTERN SYDNEY ZOO TO FEATURE BEST PRACTICE SUSTAINABILITY
17th September 2015 - PLANNED SYDNEY THEME PARK REPORTS $1 BILLION INVESTMENT BACKING
8th September 2015 - CAGE FREE WESTERN SYDNEY ZOO TO BRING VISITORS ‘FACE TO FACE’ WITH ANIMALS
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