- Lease to the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) approved
- Proposed plan includes glamping tents, caravan and camping sites
Palm Pool in Millstream Chichester National Park is set to feature new ecotourism accommodation with approval for a lease given to the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.
Covering an area of approximately 200,000 hectares around the Fortescue River, Millstream Chichester National Park is set amongst a stunning natural landscape of ancient volcanic ranges, tablelands, escarpments and water systems.
Palm Pool is the perfect destination for campers and adventure travellers with water year-round; visitors can swim, canoe, kayak or enjoy one of the several walk trails around the site.
Millstream Chichester National Park is also a popular destination for nature enthusiasts with more than 120 species of bird, 30 species of mammal, 150 species of reptile and 500 species of plants found in the park.
The opportunity for an ecotourism development at Palm Pool was co-ordinated by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The McGowan Government's decision to upgrade and seal the Karratha-Tom Price Road will improve access to Millstream Chichester National Park and greatly improve the viability of the proposed development with park visitation to increase.
The successful submission from YAC included 25 glamping-style safari tents, caravan and camping sites, as well as a restaurant.
The WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC), supported by Tourism Western Australia, will market this new Aboriginal tourism offering along with others in the region - which continues to be a growing area of interest for overseas visitors.
This development is part of the State Government's Two Year Action Plan for Nature-Based Tourism in Western Australia initiative.
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said the ecotourism project would contribute to the local economy and also provide meaningful jobs, further empowering the indigenous community.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The McGowan Government is committed to developing quality, environmentally sensitive tourism accommodation experiences in WA's national parks.
"The traditional owners of this area, the Yindjibarndi people who are represented through YAC, maintain strong cultural connections to their land and are supportive of sharing their culture through tourism."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The McGowan Government is committed to the diversification of industry in the region, to ensure future sustainability of the economy as well as ensuring job opportunities for local people.
"These new facilities, in the heart of the Pilbara, will attract people from all over, and help support local business and job creation."
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"The unique natural and cultural attractions of Millstream Chichester National Park are a magnet for tourists - with the park attracting more than 49,000 visits last financial year.
"I look forward to WAITOC working successfully with the YAC to market this fantastic new accommodation initiative that is eco-friendly, provides an opportunity to experience indigenous culture and also supports the livelihoods of local people."
Comments attributed to Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation CEO Michael Woodley:
"The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation is excited to be granted an opportunity to develop an eco-retreat on Yindjibarndi Country at Palm Pool following a competitive tender process.
"The opportunity could enable new employment opportunities for our people on Country and provide the basis for Yindjibarndi people to share and educate national and international visitors about our Culture.
"Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation looks forward to developing an ongoing partnership with the State Government, which is crucial to the project's eventual development."