The State Government has released a 10-year management plan for the South-West’s national parks and reserves - home to some of Western Australia’s most scenic beaches, forests and heritage sites.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the South-West was internationally recognised as one of 35 international biodiversity hotspots so it was important to ensure a balance of conservation, recreation, tourism and cultural values.
“The plan guides the overall management of six national parks and eight nature reserves as well as parts of State forest and other small reserves, covering 37,400 hectares,” he said.
It sets out how the Department of Parks and Wildlife will work with the community on nature-based recreation and tourism, conservation, fire management, and management of introduced species.
It also details important cultural and heritage values of the region and the State Government’s commitment to engage and collaborate with Noongar people in managing the planning area.
The Minister said the national parks covered in the plan were some of the most popular in the State, with the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, WA’s most visited park, receiving more than 2.7 million visits a year.
“Stretching across the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge and Scott Coastal Plain, the plan covers significant natural assets including important wetlands and significant conservation species and communities,” he said.
A priority for this area is the creation and upgrade of camp sites and caravanning options for families under the Parks for People initiative, with work already under way in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
“The development of infrastructure such as this is vital as the region continues to grow as a tourism hub. This plan will guide how we work with the community into the future to manage these important natural assets to ensure we achieve the right balance,” Mr Jacob said.
- The Leeuwin-Naturaliste and Bramley national parks contain significant flora and fauna species, and six threatened ecological communities
- The region is one of the oldest occupation sites in Australia with evidence of occupation by Noongar people 55,000 years ago
- The plan, produced on behalf of the Conservation Commission of WA, is available at http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/parks/management-plans/approved-management-plans