Monday 25 November 2019
The City of Bunbury and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to transfer responsibility to DBCA for certain management activities on City lands in the proposed Preston River to Ocean and Leschenault Regional Parks.
This is an interim step prior to the formalisation of the proposed parks by the State Government and the formal transfer of landholdings to DBCA.
The proposed Preston River to Ocean Regional Park includes close to 900 hectares of bushland extending west from the Preston River to Manea Park including the Shearwater Tuart Forest and Maidens Reserve along the coast.
It is home to more than 600 species of flora and 180 species of fauna. The Leschenault Regional Park is the second proposed regional park which includes the Leschenault Estuary and the riparian zone of the Collie and Brunswick rivers.
Regional parks consist of lands that have been identified as Regional Open Space under Regional Planning Schemes such as the Greater Bunbury Region Scheme. They are managed by a range of agencies including the Parks and Wildlife Service at DBCA, local government and private landholders.
About 450 hectares of land in the proposed parks has been under the management of the City of Bunbury for many decades however the MoU now allows for DBCA to access and undertake management activities in these areas.
Activities include fence and gate repairs, weed management and the installation of signage throughout the park.
DBCA will also be responsible for coordinating the establishment and management of the proposed regional parks including the preparation of a management plan to guide future management of the parks.
Mayor Gary Brennan acknowledged the efforts of City officers and DBCA in reaching this significant milestone.
“It is great to see the MoU in place bringing us a step closer to the formal establishment of the parks which is something the City and others have advocated for many years”, Mayor Brennan said.
“The establishment of the regional parks will help protect one of Bunbury’s greatest and most important assets – our natural environment.”
“It will also create more opportunities for nature-based and cultural tourism and improve our recreational, social and cultural values.”
DBCA is currently preparing the draft management plan which is expected to be released for public comment in the first half of 2020.
For more information on the Preston River to Ocean and Leschenault Regional Parks click here