Western Australia Minister for Environment Donna Faragher
State Budget 2010-11: Boost For The Environment
Victor P Taffa
Improvements to visitor facilities in parks and funding to community groups have been identified as priorities for the Liberal-National Government in the 2010-11 State Budget.
Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the Department of Environment and Conservation’s (DEC) $345 Million Budget included $25 Million for capital works to deliver on environment priorities from the foundation of a strong Budget.
It also included $10 Million for a parks and tourist roads improvement program.
In addition, $20 Million from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions scheme would be spent on park infrastructure and roads over the next four years.
The Minister said national parks were important for conservation, recreation and tourism, with more than 15 Million visits to these parks expected over the next 12 months.
Mrs. Faragher said $1.53 Million had been allocated for the Government’s environmental community grants program and the community-based Kimberley Toad Busters would be allocated a further $300,000 to continue their work.
Major works to be undertaken as part of the Government’s ‘parks and tourist roads improvement program’ included:
- $380,000 to improve safety at various sites in Karijini National Park and to upgrade facilities at Hamersley Gorge and Fortescue Falls;
- $450,000 to redevelop the Hangover Bay recreational area in Nambung National Park (the Pinnacles);
- $200,000 to redevelop sites and facilities at Steep Point in the World Heritage-listed Shark Bay area;
- $500,000 to improve visitor safety and redevelop facilities at Sugarloaf Rock in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park;
- $500,000 for a range of improvements throughout regional parks in the Metropolitan area;
- $460,000 to continue the development of the Munda Biddi off-road cycle trail between Nannup and Albany.
The Minister said the Government was also maintaining its commitment to the Department of Environment and Conservation’s (DEC’s) prescribed burning and bushfire suppression roles with almost $2.5 Million allocated for fleet replacement in 2010-11.
A conservation priority for the Government was the creation of a new marine park in Camden Sound that was a key nursery for humpback whales off the Kimberley coast.
“An indicative management plan for the proposed marine park will be released for public comment in the near future and I expect the park will be created within the next 12 months.” Mrs. Faragher said.
“Camden Sound will be the first marine park along the Kimberley coast and is a core part of the Government’s four-year $9 Million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.
“DEC will continue to work with volunteers, private conservation organisations, indigenous communities and the private sector to promote the natural environment and people’s enjoyment and safety in parks.” Mrs. Faragher said.