Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray has released a 10-year WA Hiking Strategy to ensure Western Australians continue to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and sustainable way.
The strategy is the first of its kind in the country and complements other trail strategies developed over the past 25 years in WA that focus on areas such as mountain biking and horse trails.
It will focus on traditional bushwalking and the emerging growth area of trail running, and will guide industry in the funding and development of hiking and trails for the next decade.
The State Government has allocated $250,000 over the next three years to encourage participation.
The strategy was developed by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), along with significant community input.
As part of the WA Hiking Strategy, a Hiking Implementation Reference Group has been formed to prioritise initiatives and guide its implementation.
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
“It is crucial Western Australians continue to get outdoors and enjoy what our State has to offer in terms of nature experiences. There has never been a better time to launch this strategy, now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing.
“Our hiking trails experienced record levels of participation over April and May and we want to make sure Western Australians continue to enjoy hiking and trail running.
“We look to our tourism partners to also contribute to the implementation of this strategy to create jobs and grow regional prosperity.”
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“In Western Australia we are so lucky to have world-class national parks on our doorstep, from Drysdale River National Park in the north to Fitzgerald River National Park in the south.
“I want Western Australians to get out and see our stunning landscapes, and recreational walking is a fantastic way for people to immerse themselves in the natural environment.
“This 10-year strategy will help guide government investment and lead to stronger community development and economic outcomes – including regional development and job creation – throughout the State.”