The McGowan Government has today announced $3.35 million will be injected into the expansion of Wellington National Park as part of the State Budget.
Almost 7,500 hectares of State forest has been proposed for addition to the national park. This addition will increase the overall area of the national park to 25,000 hectares.
The proposed expansion along the southern boundary to the Preston River will provide a focus for tourism along major access routes and enhance opportunities for recreation and tourism.
Wellington National Park is located just outside of Collie and features the Wellington Dam and Collie River Valley, with the park widely used for camping, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, rafting, canoeing and bushwalking.
This funding will allow for the upgrading of roads and provide visitor facilities such as lookouts, tracks, trails and campgrounds, while providing a greater level of protection for flora and fauna.
The proposed areas also include registered Aboriginal heritage places and sites of other Australian cultural heritage.
This expansion forms part of the Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative, which seeks to increase the conservation estate through the establishment of five million hectares of new conservation reserves over five years.
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The McGowan Government is committed to expanding the network of national parks and reserves in Western Australia to protect conservation values and enable areas to be enjoyed now and for years to come.
“Wellington National Park continues to grow as a popular camping and day visit destination due to its proximity to Perth; outstanding scenic, cultural and biodiversity values; and the multitude of recreational activities it offers.
“The feedback we received as part of the public comment period was extremely positive and showed the vast majority of people were supportive of the expansion.
“This funding will allow for an increased level of protection for the natural environment, and opportunities for developing the local economy through increased tourism and recreational activities.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“This is a significant step in progressing the Government’s election commitment to expand Wellington National Park.
“I am proud to say that we are working to ensure a brighter future for the people of Collie-Preston by creating a recreation and conservation hub linking the five local shires and promoting the area.
“This funding will provide for the creation of additional nature-based tourism initiatives which will boost regional tourism and create new jobs.”