SWCC welcomes regional parks announcement

The South West Catchments Council (SWCC), on behalf of the local community, congratulates the Western Australian Government on this week’s announcement it would spend $10.5 million creating two new regional parks in the Bunbury region.

SWCC Chief Executive Officer Damien Postma said the establishment of the 893-hectare Preston River to Ocean Regional Park, along with the Leschenault Regional Park, would protect and enhance the area’s incredible environmental, cultural and social values.

“The Preston River to Ocean Regional Park is a spectacular and unique public bushland reserve – twice the size of Kings Park – located right here on our doorstep,” Mr Postma said.

“There’s no doubt the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many Bunbury locals.  It is momentous that the WA Government has committed to both parks for the benefit of the entire South West community.”

The park proclamation has been decades in the making and is truly community driven, with the first stirrings in the 1970s.

SWCC was able to contribute and progress this effort in partnership with the City of Bunbury from 2013-17, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Since 2013, crews have completed some 234ha of weed treatment; installed of 6.1km of new fencing; undertaken 47.5ha of dieback management; and 2.9ha of bushland rehabilitation.

None of which would have been possible without the hard work of local school children, cultural advice from Noongar people and on-ground experience of community groups and volunteers.

“We worked really hard to ensure the true wonder and importance of the park was known by those who live around the corner or use the park every day,” Mr Postma said.

“In just four years we engaged 1748 people across 55 events including planting days, wildflower walks, cultural education events, night stalks, bird watching, rubbish clean-ups and dieback workshops.”

Mr Postma acknowledged the outstanding efforts of the Friends of Manea Park and Bernard Bischoff in ensuring this significant community asset was preserved for the benefit of all!

“There is still much to be done to ensure both regional parks are sustainably managed into the future, in consultation with the community,” he said.

“SWCC looks forward to continuing its work with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; the City of Bunbury; and the local community to protect the parks.”

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