Works Program Involves A New Upper Lookout To Replace Existing Structure

Works Program Involves A New Upper Lookout To Replace Existing Structure

Western Australia Minister for Environment Bill Marmion

$1 Million Works Program In Porongurup Nears Completion

Victor P Taffa

A $1 Million revamp of visitor facilities is nearing completion at Castle Rock in Porongurup National Park, east of Mount Barker.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion visited the site to inspect the works and said he was pleased with what he had seen.

“The Project involves a new upper lookout to replace an existing structure that was past its use-by-date, along with a lower lookout to provide easier access for people to enjoy the panorama.” Mr. Marmion said.

“The new structures will also provide an exhilarating visitor experience with the sensation of being suspended off the rock-edge high above the surrounding landscape.”

The Castle Rock day-use site also contains picnic tables, barbecues and toilets and meets accessibility guidelines for people with disabilities.

“Porongurup National Park is one of the most distinct parks in the State as it essentially is an ‘outlier’ of karri forest approximately 70 km from the main karri belt between Manjimup and Denmark.” the Minister said.

“It also features one-billion-year-old granite domes rising to 670 m and 750 native plant species within an area of just 2,600 ha.”

Construction of the new facilities began in March 2010. Both lookouts are nearing completion and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is aiming to have the site open to the public by mid-April.

The new works were designed by DEC landscape architects, with structural engineering undertaken by engineering consultant GHD and built by Robinson BUILDTECH.

Mr. Marmion said the Porongurup National Park was severely burnt in a bushfire in February 2007, but was recovering.

“Several species of native plants flower quite rapidly after fires, but scorched areas of forest will take decades before they recover fully. However, the new lookouts and the views they offer provide visitors with an overall perspective of how Mother Nature responds to fire.” Mr. Marmion said.