Support from the community for the expansion of the Wellington National Park has been overwhelmingly positive. We have collected 1195 signatures from local residents and visitors to the area in the past eight weeks….people have been literally lining up to support us!
Talking to people…questions and answers
We have talked to ministers, government departments, local government, tourism agencies, chambers of commerce, the community and visitors to the area. The most common questions we are asked are:
What does a Category II national park mean exactly?
A Category II national park is a multipurpose park with a range of zones that offer environmentally and culturally compatible recreational, educational, spiritual, scientific, conservation and visitor opportunities.
How does this idea fit with the bigger regional picture?
An expanded Wellington National Park would be a wonderful asset to region. It meets 6 of 12 key actions for the Bunbury, Wellington Boyup-Brook regional tourism strategy. It would be the centre piece for a tourism loop that connects Bunbury, Donnybrook, Mumbalup and Collie. And world class adventure-nature experiences including camping, bike-riding and bush-walking trails, an adventure park, cultural centre and nature play. It would also offer something unique with the provision of a ceremony area which accompanying birthing forest (tree plantings for births), natural burial site, earth art trail and community nursery.
How will we benefit?
A GWNP is a very clear statement that this area is special which will provide the security of tenure needed to create job and business opportunities locally in the Preston Valley now and into the future.
Do the burning practices change when an area becomes a national park?
The Department of Parks and Wildlife burning protocol is the same for national parks as it is for state conservation areas.
Will this help our flora and fauna?
What we have here is a one of a kind temperate eucalypt forest that is found no where else on earth. A national park will provide habitat for the Carnaby`s Cockatoo, Forest Red-tail Black Cockatoo, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Chuditch and the rare mainland Quokka. We view citizen science and species recovery programs as a great way to engage our community in ‘caring for country’.
Why a national park?
We know we are on a winner with increased visitations for all national parks across the state. There was a 32% increase in the number of visitations to Wellington National Park in just one year from 191,000 in 2013-2014 to 280,000 in 2014-2015. (DPAW, 2016) High visitor numbers start affecting the features people came to experience, so a larger national park will spread the impact.
According to Tourism WA if we keep people in the region one more day the average expenditure is $157 for intrastate visitors and $161 for interstate and $67 for international visitors. Wild visitors (ie into outdoor adventure) tend to stay longer and spend more. Tourism Research Australia has found that for every tourism dollar spent there is a flow on effect of an extra 87c to other parts of the economy.
What about logging?
Promote Preston is requesting approximately 13,500 hectares be added to the existing WNP. This excludes the 3,000 hectares of pine plantations in the region. Of the 10,000 hectares - 8,000 has been logged in the past 16 years. 700 of the remaining 2,000 hectares is being marked up for logging. We are asking for a moratorium on these as they are good conservation areas which will be essential for creating positive, high quality experiences for tourists.
Help us to make this happen by signing our petition.