Monarto Zoo safari roars ahead

Today’s sod turning at regional South Australia’s Monarto Zoo officially marks the start of construction on a new state-of-the-art Safari Gateway Visitors Centre.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $16.7 million project would provide enormous economic benefits to Monarto and neighbouring regions.

“With this investment, the Visitors Centre will be able to attract new visitors to the region, create ongoing jobs and cement the zoo as a must-see tourism attraction,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Monarto Zoo is set for major redevelopment, with the Visitors Centre being the first stage.

“In addition to the creation of 136 jobs during construction and 89 ongoing positions, this will enable the zoo to be better equipped to really pounce on the rapid growth in visitors they have seen in recent years.”

Premier of South Australia said the Visitor Centre will simultaneously create jobs while creating a premiere tourist destination in South Australia.

“This Visitor Centre will be yet another drawcard for Monarto Safari Park which attracts around 160,000 local, national and international visitors in a normal year,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“The fact that this will be the largest safari experience outside of Africa is a coup for our state, putting us on the map globally and enhancing our world class tourism credentials.

“Not only is this exciting project created a major tourism drawcard for South Australia it’s going to create 136 jobs during the entire construction and a further 89 jobs once operational,” Premier Marshall said.

South Australia Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the Visitors Centre will be a valuable asset to the community.

“It is set to include a children’s play area, meeting areas, a café, office space and public amenities,” Minister Basham said.

“Other facilities such as Safari gardens and a car park are also receiving much needed upgrades.”

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said it is pleasing to see the Australian Government investing in regional South Australia.

“I argued strongly for the Federal Government to invest into the Monarto Zoo redevelopment because I understood the positive flow on effects for the wider Murrayland,” Mr Pasin said.

“I’m thrilled that the Deputy Prime Minister is here today to witness what our Government’s $11.25 million investment will deliver for this project and our region.

“This is an exciting day that marks the beginning of a new era for the Monarto Zoo.

“This state of the art visitor facility coupled with other exciting developments will transform the Monarto Zoo into a world class tourism experience bringing many thousands of first time visitors including international tourist to the Murraylands which will benefit both the state and local economy,” Mr Pasin said.

The Australian Government committed $11.25 million, the SA Government $4.55 million and the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia $900,500 to fund the $16.7 million project.

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