John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    State funding for Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre - Ongerup

    6/12/2005 12:00 AM

    The Ongerup Community Development group has received the first instalment of a State Government grant of $500,000, to assist with construction of the Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Visitor and Interpretive Centre.

    Local Government and Regional Development Minister John Bowler said the funding had been provided from the Regional Infrastructure Funding Program. A grant of $12,871 would also be provided from the Regional Headworks Program to assist with power connection to the site.

    Support for this purpose-built, nature-based centre in Ongerup will serve to both promote and preserve a rather unique local resident, the Malleefowl, in addition to encouraging tourists to visit Ongerup.

    Located in the Great Southern region, Ongerup is a relatively small community with approximately 120 permanent residents.

    The Yongergnow Malleefowl Conservation and Information Centre is geographically located in near proximity to the popular visitor attractions of the Stirling, Porongerup and Fitzgerald National Parks and will provide educational programs on the malleefowl and associated habitat aspects of the centre’s research and conservation activities.

    The new centre will feature a meeting room, a laboratory for visiting researchers and a multi-function room for travelling exhibitions. Additionally, it also houses a main exhibition hall and cafe with seating for 60 people.

    Mr Bowler said the project represented a significant step by the Ongerup community, through the Ongerup Community Development Group, to redirect its economic future.

    “This is a community which cares for its local environs and has worked tirelessly to achieve an outcome beneficial to the preservation of the malleefowl, and will no doubt be admired by many communities in similar economic circumstances,” he said.

    Including hands-on work during the construction phase, community members will undertake training to fulfil some of the more specialised volunteer roles, including visitor guides for the centre and environs. A centre manager will be employed.

    “The spin-off economic effects of expanding into a tourism-based venture in Ongerup, typically reliant on agriculture, has the potential to improve substantially the prospects of existing business, as well as the social structure of the community,” the Minister said.

    The value of the project is further evidenced by the support from both the Shire of Gnowangerup and Lotterywest. In addition, the Regional Investment Fund also helped to leverage support of $368,538 from the Commonwealth Government through its Regional Partnerships funding program.

    Mr Bowler said the Gallop Government was keen to support communities with such drive and determination to provide new jobs and opportunities for Western Australians.

    Further information about the Regional Infrastructure Funding Program and the Regional Headworks Program is available from the Department of Local Government and Regional Development on 9217 1500, Freecall 1800 620 511 (country only) or

    Minister's office: 9213 6500