State Government welcomes responses to Wellington National Park expansion proposal

The State Government has welcomed a positive response to the proposed expansion of Wellington National Park.

The proposed expansion, along the southern boundary to the Preston River, focuses on opportunities for tourism and recreation.

A total of 46 submissions were received, with the majority expressing their support for the expansion.

"The McGowan Government is committed to the expansion of Wellington National Park and will ensure Western Australia's unique natural environment is protected for generations to come," Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said. 

"I am pleased with the support we have received for the proposal. All submissions are now being reviewed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions, with consideration given to all comments and how they may be addressed."

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said the proposal would provide new opportunities for the region. 

"I am delighted to be working with the community to improve and expand tourism and recreation opportunities within Wellington National Park and the surrounding area," he said. 

"At the 2017 election, I committed to expand Wellington National Park to help capitalise on all the opportunities for sustainable, nature-based tourism in the region.

"I'm delighted the public consultation process has proven the popularity of our plan with locals."

Councillors at the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup declined to take a position for or against the proposal because of what they considered to be insufficient information.

"While acknowledging the decision by Minister Dawson and supported by Mr Murray, to the expansion of the Wellington National Park footprint, the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup is disappointed that council's request for an all embracing environmental, social, and economic impact statement relating thereto has not been forthcoming," Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup president Brian Piesse said. 

"Given some 50 per cent of the shire's footprint includes state forest, national parks and reserves, the shire remains committed to the ongoing protection of the natural environment, and opportunities for developing the local economy through increased tourism and recreational activities.

"The shire is looking forward to learning more as to the state's commitment, in consultation with the shire, to deliver on the rationale behind this decision."

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