Up to $52 million of works have started to rebuild and rejuvenate Kangaroo Island’s nature-based tourism economy, creating hundreds of much-needed jobs following the summer’s devastating bushfires and impacts from coronavirus.
Premier Steven Marshall said the Kangaroo Island tourism industry contributes around $126 million annually to the regional economy, and the rebuild works will create more than 400 jobs in the region and will fast-track important works to iconic sites.
“Nature-based tourism is a critical part of South Australia’s economy and Kangaroo Island is one of our crowning jewels,” said Premier Marshall.
“Unfortunately, the island has been devastated by the summer’s bushfires and the impacts of coronavirus and my Government is committed to doing everything we can to support regional communities such as Kangaroo Island get back on their feet.
“Rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by the bushfires will provide a timely boost to the local economy and help Kangaroo Island’s nature-based tourism industry bounce back. Works will be fast tracked and will begin immediately to rebuild much-loved visitor experiences across the island.
“This includes rebuilding some of Kangaroo Island’s most iconic sites – the boardwalk to access Remarkable Rocks, as well as the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, which travels across Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Conservation Park.
“We want the local community to be involved throughout the rebuild which is why we are also launching our Reimagining Kangaroo Island engagement strategy today to support the recovery of the island’s tourism economy and balance this with environmental recovery and protection.”
Flinders Chase National Park has this week reopened to commercial tour operators with public access expected in the coming weeks.
Works to rebuild some of Kangaroo Island’s most iconic sites will be fast-tracked including the boardwalk to Remarkable Rocks, the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail and essential infrastructure in Flinders Chase National Park which were all destroyed by the bushfires.
The local community will have a significant say on what the rebuild looks like with an extensive engagement process launched today. The Reimagining Kangaroo Island process will help to improve the visitor experience and grow nature-based tourism on the island.
The first $17 million of works is now underway with further funding for rebuild projects to follow the Reimagining Kangaroo Island engagement process.
Reimagining Kangaroo Island will also involve the development of a new western Kangaroo Island parks management plan to support best practice conservation management.
For more information about the State Government’s extensive integrated engagement and planning approach to reimagine Kangaroo Island parks visit: www.parks.sa.gov.au/reimagine-ki/