Market-led nature-based tourism opportunities
The State Government has invited proposals for new attractions, experiences and accommodation in WA’s national, marine and conservation parks as part of WA's COVID-19 recovery.
The invitation is part of the Market-Led Proposals Policy, which was designed to encourage innovative ideas from the private sector that could stimulate the economy and create jobs. It followed the investment of $41.3 million over four years to support nature-based tourism through improvements in trails, roads, visitor facilities and other attractions in parks across WA.
More information on the Market-Led Proposals Policy is available on the WA.gov.au website.
What is DBCA doing?
In response to the invitation, four proposals progressed immediately to licensing or were provided other assistance from State Government. Five proposals from four proponents were accepted to advance to further due diligence, planning, site and impact assessment over a 12-month period. An important part of the assessment of these proposals will be engagement with traditional owners. Consultation with affected stakeholders will also occur.
After further discussion with the four proponents, the following proposals are now undergoing further due diligence including planning, site and impact assessment, engagement with traditional owners and stakeholder consultation:
- a ropes course at Gnangara Park
- unique tree-based attractions at site/s to be confirmed
- nature-based tourism accommodation in Porongurup National Park
- self-contained eco-accommodation at two sites to be confirmed.
The site assessments will include but are not limited to:
- environmental impact assessment (flora, fauna, surface and groundwater, visual and landscape, geological)
- Aboriginal heritage
- other heritage
- socio-economic impacts
- construction impacts
- bushfire planning.
The support of relevant traditional owners will be essential for each proposal to proceed. Due to the implementation of the South West Native Title Settlement, all proposals in the south west settlement area will be progressed once the respective Noongar Regional Corporations are established.
If proposals are found to be environmentally suitable, supported and viable, DBCA will proceed to the formal approvals process with a view to offering successful proponents the opportunity to negotiate a lease. However, there is no contractual or other legal obligation to the proponents with respect to the consideration, acceptance or the rejection of any proposal, until a formal lease is executed between the proponent and DBCA.
DBCA leases are performance-based and lessees are required to meet key performance indicators, on which they are audited to facilitate the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the lease operation and ensure the lessee achieves best practice befitting of the State’s national parks and conservation reserves.
Revenue collected from any approved and operating leases will be retained within the park in which the lease is located to directly support ongoing management and conservation.