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Karri forest icon project going forward : Minister
10/01/2001 9:40 AM
The proposed $2 million tourist icon development in the karri forest between Nannup and Manjimup has taken a further step forward with the selection of a proposal for a sky-jetty high above the forest floor in the Donnelly River Valley.
Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes said the proposal had been chosen by an independent panel that assessed expressions of interest in the project from professional groups.
The expressions of interest were sought following a public competition that attracted 71 entries covering a wide range of suggestions, including sculpture parks, laser light shows, bike trails, walk trails, a virtual tree, interpretative centres and theme parks.
Many of the entries also canvassed the concept of elevating people into the forest canopy by using lifts, gondolas, monorails and sky rails. The competition prize winners were announced in May last year.
Mrs Edwardes said Contract and Management Services (CAMS) had overseen both the competition and the call for expressions of interest.
“Forty-nine syndicates requested project briefing packages and five responses were received,” she said.
“Each of the respondents were interviewed and asked for a more detailed proposal.
“These proposals were reviewed by a selection committee including private tourism consultants and operators, a landscape architect, consulting architect, a conservation representative, the WA Tourism Commission’s South-West Regional Tourism Manager and the Department of Conservation and Land Management’s Director of Parks.”
The review panel assessed the proposals against a set of criteria. These were that the project should:
include environmentally responsible planning, design, management and operation principles and demonstrate ecological sustainability;
provide an enhanced visitor experience, which includes interpretation leading to greater understanding of the natural processes of the karri forest;
be located in karri forest on State Forest or Conservation Park in the Manjimup-Nannup region;
provide tangible benefits to local communities such as employment, increased opportunities for local provision of services, facilities and products, and extra tourist volume and extended visit time; and -
have the potential to generate sufficient revenue to cover operating costs and depreciation.
The sky-jetty proposal - which links to a river-walk in a deeply incised valley on the Donnelly River about 12km from One Tree Bridge - was submitted by the Perth-based firm, Donaldson and Warn Architects.
Donaldson and Warn are the designers of the internationally acclaimed Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants tingle forest near Nornalup.
The company now will be asked to provide more detailed plans and costings on the concept.
Steve Manchee (Minister) on 9421 7777;
Jim Sharp (CALM) on 9442 0300