The McGowan Government has welcomed a positive response to the proposed expansion of Wellington National Park, with the public consultation period now closed.
The consultation response, released today on International Day of Forests, is a positive step towards the delivery of this election commitment for the people of the Collie-Preston electorate.
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, while also providing greater protection for flora and fauna.
A total of 46 submissions were received, with the vast majority expressing their support for the expansion.
Reasons for supporting the proposal included an increased level of protection for the natural environment, and opportunities for developing the local economy through increased tourism and recreational activities. The majority of those opposed to the proposal cited concerns of the impact the expansion would have on timber harvesting, firewood collection and other extractive uses.
As noted by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“The McGowan Government is committed to the expansion of Wellington National Park and will ensure Western Australia’s unique natural environment is protected for generations to come.
“I am pleased with the support we have received for the proposal. All submissions are now being reviewed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, with consideration given to all comments and how they may be addressed.”
As noted by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“I am delighted to be working with the community to improve and expand tourism and recreation opportunities within Wellington National Park and the surrounding area.
“At the 2017 election, I committed to expand Wellington National Park to help capitalise on all the opportunities for sustainable, nature-based tourism in the region. I’m delighted the public consultation process has proven the popularity of our plan with locals.”