- WA's largest marine park to be created in the Kimberley
- Will become Australia's second largest marine park spanning more than three million hectares of coast and waters
The Kimberley is on track to become a world-class ecotourism destination as the State Government progresses the creation of the second largest marine park in Australia.
The 2016-17 State Budget has provided an extra $22.1 million, including $10.09 million from Royalties for Regions, to Kimberley marine and national parks, including the creation of the Great Kimberley Marine Park, the Kimberley National Park and Horizontal Falls.
The investment is part of the State Government's Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy, which now has a commitment of $103.6 million to protect the region's unique assets.
Premier and Tourism and Science Minister Colin Barnett said the Great Kimberley Marine Park would cover more than three million hectares and would solidify the State as one of the world's greatest ecotourism destinations.
"The strategy recognises the Kimberley region can be a world-class, ecotourism destination to rival the likes of the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu National Park," Mr Barnett said.
"Investing in the creation of parks ensures ecotourism can be developed and marketed with certainty and the outstanding natural values on which they are based are conserved forever."
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the parks would be jointly managed with traditional owners and would help to support new business and job opportunities for Aboriginal people.
"Preserving our unique plants, animals and natural features is critical to our economic development and job creation," Mr Jacob said.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said investing in science and conservation had a clear ecotourism benefit, creating economic opportunities for WA's regions.
"Conservation and ecotourism is an important investment for Royalties for Regions as it attracts investment and creates business and job opportunities for regional communities," Mr Redman said.
The creation of the new marine reserves will increase the total area of the State's marine parks and reserves from about 1.5 million hectares to more than five million hectares since the Liberal National Government came to office in 2008, representing a 200 per cent increase.
- The $103.6 million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy is the largest targeted conservation investment in the Kimberley
- The strategy is creating the largest interconnected system of marine and national parks in the State to be jointly managed with traditional owners
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700