The Western Australian Government has provided $10.5 million in the State Budget to create two new regional parks in the Bunbury region.
The creation of the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park will ensure the protection of the area’s biodiversity while maintaining and improving recreational, social and cultural values for the residents of Bunbury and surrounds.
It will create a continuous reserve of almost 900 hectares from the south of Bunbury, west of the Preston River, to the coast.
The approved funding will also enable the Government to create the 2,297-hectare Leschenault Regional Park, which will extend along the Collie and Brunswick rivers westwards across the Swan Coastal Plain.
These new parks will complement each other and will ensure the long-term preservation of much needed regional open space for the greater Bunbury area – Western Australia’s second largest population centre.
Establishment of these regional parks and protection of the greater Bunbury bushland corridor has been proposed since 1983. The concept of these continuous parks is central to the Greater Bunbury Region Scheme, which came into effect at the end of 2007. The McGowan Government is putting these long-term plans into effect.
The $10.5 million in funding will pay for the construction of facilities such as walk trails, cycle paths, lookouts, interpretive shelters, picnic shelters, fire access tracks and fencing. Weed control and a rehabilitation project will also be funded. The funds will also employ three additional Aboriginal rangers.
The community will have the opportunity to provide input into the planning, development and management of the park at the time of the preparation of the park’s management plan. This will likely commence later this year.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will create and manage the parks in conjunction with the City of Bunbury and the community.