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Former Minister for the Environment; Science
Edwards opens new $750,000 visitor facilities at Bluff Knoll
5/09/2005 12:00 AM
Environment and Science Minister Judy Edwards today opened new visitor facilities worth $750,000 at the popular Bluff Knoll tourism attraction in the State’s south coast region.
Dr Edwards said the new facilities would provide greater access to this natural icon, located in the Stirling Range National Park, which attracts around 60,000 visitors a year.
“Bluff Knoll is the highest peak in the region and is part of an important protected mountain area of the Stirling Range,” she said.
“It also lies within the South-West Botanical Province, an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot.
“Increasing access to Bluff Knoll and Stirling Range National Park, while at the same time conserving and protecting these biodiversity values, will enable more people to experience these areas of cultural significance and natural diversity.”
The Minister said the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) had spent $750,000 on the new facilities, which included $75,000 from a Commonwealth grant through the AusIndustry Regional Tourism Program.
“These funds have improved parking areas and bus bays, raised walkways and viewing platforms, sheltered sitting and picnic areas, composting toilets, wheelchair accessibility, safety information and interpretation of geology, biodiversity and Noongar culture,” she said.
The Minister said the new facilities were an excellent example of the State Government’s vision for making better visitor facilities in national parks and conservation reserves a priority.
“Since 2001, the Gallop Government has committed an additional $50million to CALM to improve and increase visitor facilities and services within national parks and conservation reserves throughout the State,” she said.
“This has gone towards upgrading and constructing picnic sites, campgrounds, boardwalks, roads and walking trails, enhancing interpretive information and improving access for people with disabilities.
“In 2005-06, a further $723,000 will be spent on visitor facilities and services in parks in the Albany region.”
Key projects include:
Porongurup National Park - complete stage three of the redevelopment program at Castle Rock including an access track, steps and viewing platform at the rock summit;
Stirling Range National Park - continued community consultation for a proposed visitors’ centre;
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve - road improvements including realignment of access tracks between the research headquarters and wildlife study centre; and
Fitzgerald River National Park - improved access between the Quoin Head campsite and the beach, upgrading of the East Mount Barren carpark to accommodate larger buses, and upgrading of a five-kilometre section of Pabellup Drive.
Other works included general road works throughout the region’s parks as well as continuing a program to install gas barbecues.
Minister's office: 9220 5050