To assist COVID-19 recovery, the State Government invited proposals for new attractions, experiences and accommodation in Western Australia’s national, marine and conservation parks.
The invitation under the Market-Led Proposals Policy was designed to encourage innovative ideas from the private sector that could stimulate the economy and create jobs. It followed the investment of $41.3 million over four years to support nature-based tourism through improvements in trails, roads, visitor facilities and other attractions in parks across WA.
For more information on the Market-Led Proposals Policy please click here.
In response to the invitation, four proposals progressed immediately to licensing or were provided other assistance from State Government. Five proposals from four proponents were accepted to advance to further due diligence, planning, site and impact assessment over a 12 month period. An important part of the assessment of these proposals will be engagement with traditional owners. Consultation with affected stakeholders will also occur.
After further discussion with the four proponents, the following proposals are undergoing further due diligence that includes planning, site and impact assessment, engagement with traditional owners and stakeholder consultation:
- a ropes course at Gnangara Park;
- unique tree-based attractions at site/s to be confirmed;
- nature-based tourism accommodation in Porongorup National Park; and
- self-contained eco-accommodation at two sites to be confirmed.
The site assessments will include but are not limited to:
- environmental impact assessment (flora, fauna, surface and groundwater, visual and landscape, geological);
- Aboriginal heritage;
- other heritage;
- socio-economic impacts;
- construction impacts; and
- bushfire planning.
The support of relevant traditional owners will be essential for each proposal to proceed. Due to the implementation of the South West Native Title Settlement all proposals in the south west settlement area will be progressed once the respective Noongar Regional Corporations are established.
If proposals are found to be environmentally suitable, supported and viable, DBCA will proceed to the formal approvals process with a view to offering successful proponents the opportunity to negotiate a lease. However, there is no contractual or other legal obligation to the proponents with respect to the consideration, acceptance or the rejection of any proposal, until a formal lease is executed between the proponent and DBCA.
Performance based lease
DBCA leases are performance-based and lessees are required to meet key performance indicators, on which they are audited to facilitate the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the lease operation and ensure the lessee achieves best practice befitting of the State’s national parks and conservation reserves.
Revenue collected from any approved and operating leases will be retained within the park in which the lease is located to directly support ongoing management and conservation.