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A decade-long project to restore and enhance the picturesque coastal cliffs at Kalbarri National Park has won a coveted Western Australian Coastal Award for Excellence 2013.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) received the Coastal Development/Design Award for the Kalbarri National Park Coastal Cliffs Restoration Project last month at the WA State Coastal Conference in Esperance.

Major improvements to visitor facilities at Kalbarri National Park’s coastal cliffs included: the construction of 600m of recycled plastic boardwalk and more than 1500m of asphalt paths; the design and installation of visitor signs; and the construction of picnic facilities at Natural Bridge.

DPaW senior ranger and project manager Mike Paxman said the team that worked on the restoration project was delighted to receive the award.

“This award is a great acknowledgement of everyone who gave up their time and went the extra mile over the last ten years to breathe new life into the wonderful Kalbarri coastal cliffs,” he said.

“We are thrilled that our work means park visitors are now enjoying an enriched experience, while the clifftops’ unique plant communities will be preserved for many years to come.”

In addition, DPaW officer and shorebird expert Kim Onton took home the Individual Contribution award for her voluntary work on BirdLife Australia’s Shorebirds 2020 program, which is gathering important information needed to conserve visiting migratory shorebirds.

DPaW Acting Director General Jim Sharp congratulated staff and volunteers at Kalbarri National Park for their dedication and commitment to the restoration project.

“The DPaW staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly on this innovative project have ensured these magnificent cliffs are protected for present and future generations,” he said.

“With its scenic gorges, soaring sea cliffs and exciting water-based activities, Kalbarri National Park remains one of the State’s most popular parks with more than 305,000 visits in 2011 and 2012.

“I was also delighted to see Kim recognised for the fantastic work she has done as a voluntary coordinator on the Shorebirds 2020 study.”


Families and tourists will benefit from improved facilities, better access to the State’s National Parks and better support for caravan and camping following a $40.7million commitment to tourism and the environment in this year’s State Budget.

The Budget commitment fulfills an election promise to make low-cost holidays more accessible to West Australians, both in WA’s national parks and in better facilities for caravanners and campers.

Over the next four years $34.4million in Royalties for Regions funding will go to the Caravan and Camping Action Plan ($14.7 million of which is specifically earmarked for initiatives to improve camping facilities in national parks – with an additional $6.3million allocated to the “Parks for People” initiative).

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said this would provide more high-quality, low-cost campsites in national parks throughout the South West and Mid West over the next four years.

“Visitation to national and marine parks has increased by 55 per cent in the past 10 years and we expect it to grow by another 80 per cent over the next decade,” he said.

“We need to ensure facilities are continually expanded and upgraded so that West Australians can access affordable, high-quality holiday accommodation in our own backyard.

“This is a long term environmental strategy to create a better awareness of the value of our parks and the environment among young people.”

Minister Jacob said the commitment in this year’s budget built on more than $60million for capital works such as parking, walking trails and visitor facilities in more than 25million hectares of State parks since 2008.

Tourism Minister Liza Harvey said the Caravan and Camping Action Plan would ensure more West Australian families can get out and explore more of the State in an affordable way.

“This is about providing direct support to WA’s tourism industry through the promotion of WA’s spectacular natural attractions and the advantages of holidaying at home,” she said

“We want to reconnect our children with nature and our national parks, we want to bring back the family camping trip by providing better facilities and more campgrounds to choose from – while also encouraging our interstate and overseas visitors to take advantage of our spectacular parks.”

“We also want to ensure that commercial caravan parks are supported to attract visitors and provide the best facilities possible.”

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Liberal National Government was committed to transforming regional WA with its record capital works program.

“Through Royalties for Regions we are investing in the future by building long-term assets that will be enjoyed and used by families and visitors for years to come,” he said.

“Tourism is a vital part of the regional economy and this program will help to encourage more people to explore all that regional WA has to offer.”

Projects under the Parks for People scheme will include lookouts, boardwalks, walk trails, camp kitchens, picnic tables and other facilities. A timetable for the projects is currently being developed, however other key capital works to start in national parks this year include:

  • $5.925million for a major road upgrade and visitor facilities in Kalbarri National Park;
  • $2.9million to upgrade viewing structures at The Gap in Torndirrup National Park near Albany;
  • $895,000 for Logue Brook campground north-east of Harvey;
  • $800,000 for Nanga campground redevelopment in Lane Poole Reserve south of Dwellingup;
  • $450,000 for Martins Tank campground in Yalgorup National Park south of Mandurah;
  • $638,000 to develop visitor accommodation through the Naturebank program in Cape Le Grand near Esperance, Francois Peron at Shark Bay and Windjana Gorge, Mt Hart and at Ngamoowalem Conservation Park in the Kimberley; and
  • $900,000 for a campground along the Kalumburu Road in the Kimberley.

    Media contact: Aimee Jones - 6552 5800 or 0400 065 595 (Minister Jacob) or Philippa Perry 6552 5900 or 0409876178 (Minister Harvey) or Clare Creegan 6552 5500 or 0419 763 103 (Minister Grylls)