The creation of regional parks in the Bunbury and Leschenault areas is a step closer, with an agreement reached between the McGowan Government and City of Bunbury.
The regional parks will cover 3,100ha and are part of the State Government's Plan for Our Parks initiative - creating five million hectares of new reserves across Western Australian lands and waters over five years.
The proposed Preston River to Ocean Regional Park will create a continuous reserve from south of Bunbury, west of Preston River to the coast. The proposed Leschenault Regional Park will extend along the Collie and Brunswick rivers westwards across the Swan Coastal Plain.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Bunbury and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' (DBCA) Parks and Wildlife Service will see additional areas of bushland reserves managed by the department.
Management activities on City lands in the proposed parks will include weed control, fencing repairs, rubbish removal, visitor infrastructure maintenance and fire access.
DBCA will work with other land managers within the regional parks to develop MOUs, including the shires of Dardanup and Harvey.
A draft management plan for the proposed parks is being developed by DBCA, with an online survey now available for the public to have their say on issues that should be addressed in the plan at https://pws.dbca.wa.gov.au/gbrp
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"These regional parks will deliver on the McGowan Government's election commitment to maintain and improve environmental, recreational, social and cultural values for local residents.
"The co-ordinated management of this regional open space and bushland also fulfils a key commitment under the groundbreaking Plan for Our Parks initiative.
"The City of Bunbury has worked in collaboration with DBCA to ensure this exciting new proposal is achieved, bringing with it added protection for the environment and more tourism and economic prosperity for the region."
Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
"The Preston River to Ocean Regional Park has been an aspiration of our community for more than 35 years so it is very heartening to see the formalisation of the park move one step closer.
"This initiative will commit more than 900 hectares in the southern reaches of the greater Bunbury area as a permanent environmental asset for the community.
"As our city grows, green open space will become even more valuable. The agreement between the City and the State Government demonstrates we understand that value and are committed to ensuring our open space is protected."
Minister's office - 6552 5800