Nine members of the south-west community have been appointed as representatives to the Preston River to Ocean and Leschenault Regional Parks Advisory Committee.
The committee members represent a broad range of park users and community interests, and will be assisting in developing the framework for future management of the park.
The appointed members are Elizabeth Golden, Ray Parks, Bernhard Bischoff, Cheryl Stiles, Peter Jones, Bella Burgemeister, Natalie Olsen, Peter McCleery and committee chairperson Gordon Hill.
These members were selected based on their local knowledge, strong community networks, understanding of park issues and their ability to represent a broad range of relevant interests.
The main role of the committee will be to provide advice on issues addressed in preparation of a formal management plan for the parks and on implementation of on-ground projects.
Representatives from the City of Bunbury, the shires of Dardanup, Harvey and Capel, and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation also sit on the committee.
Preston River to Ocean Regional Park and Leschenault Regional Park deliver on the State Government’s election commitment to maintain and improve environmental, recreational, social and cultural values for the residents of Bunbury, Collie-Preston and surrounds.
An online survey is now available for the public to have their say on issues that should be addressed in the draft management plan: https://pws.dbca.wa.gov.au/gbrp
The parks are also part of the Government’s Plan For Our Parks which aims to create five million hectares of new reserves across Western Australia. Plan for Our Parks is part of ‘Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity’, a new program of targets to address important issues facing Western Australia.
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“I would like to congratulate the newly appointed committee members and thank them for providing input and advice to the department and other land managers regarding issues and matters of public concern referred to them by the park managers or the public.
“The co-ordinated management of 3,200 hectares of regional open space will be a benefit for the community with the potential to significantly improve tourism and recreation facilities, and it is important that local community input is part of the process.
“In addition to the opportunity the committee provides for community input, I am encouraging the public to have their say through the online survey.”
As stated by Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
“After years of inaction under the previous government, the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park is finally receiving the attention it deserves.
“On behalf of the community, I would like to thank Minister Dawson for firstly securing the funds to manage the park and for then ensuring the community have the opportunity to play a prominent role in the decision-making about that management.
“The Bunbury community places a huge value on the park and the protection of our natural environment, so it is great to see members of our community put their hand up to be involved with its management and I would like to thank them.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“I congratulate the newly appointed members of the advisory group and cannot understate the importance of the role of the local community in guiding the future of local parks.
“This is another example of the McGowan Government’s priority of protecting our wonderful, natural environment in Western Australia.”