Coast move

Plan for na­tional park at Two Peo­ples Bay

Albany Extra - - Front Page - Tayler Neale

A new coastal man­age­ment plan for Al­bany pro­poses chang­ing the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of Two Peo­ples Bay Na­ture Re­serve from a na­ture re­serve to a na­tional park.

The plan, re­leased by the State Govern­ment this week, cov­ers 56 parks and re­serves to­talling 32,457ha and pro­vides a blue­print for the area for the next 10 years.

Within the plan are sev­eral pro­posed re­serves and changes to ex­ist­ing re­serves, with al­ter­ations to Two Peo­ples Bay be­ing con­sid­ered for a list of rea­sons.

“The area is na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised for its im­por­tance for sci­en­tific study and the con­ser­va­tion of more than 10 threat­ened na­tive an­i­mals that have been recorded there,” the plan states.

“The re­serve meets cri­te­ria for a na­tional park.

“The very pop­u­lar vis­i­tor use of the re­serve is fa­cil­i­tated within na­tional parks but not in na­ture re­serves.”

State En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Stephen Daw­son high­lighted the value of Al­bany’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

“Al­bany is a much-loved des­ti­na­tion and a draw­card for tourists with its spec­tac­u­lar coast­line pro­vid­ing a range of pop­u­lar recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Mr Daw­son said.

“With at­trac­tions such as the in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned Bib­bul­mun Track and the breath­tak­ing Gap and Nat­u­ral Bridge, the coast­line’s parks and re­serves are sig­nif­i­cant for the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try and the wider com­mu­nity.

Mr Daw­son also in­di­cated the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing the cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the re­gion through the plan.

“Many her­itage sites are lo­cated on parks and re­serves,” he said.

“The cul­tural her­itage of the area is im­por­tant to Noon­gar peo­ple and the peo­ple of Al­bany and Western Aus­tralia.

“The plan’s area in­cludes key refuges for threat­ened an­i­mals in­clud­ing the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered Gil­bert’s po­toroo as well as high plant species diversity and threat­ened flora and eco­log­i­cal com­mu­ni­ties.”

The draft plan was re­leased in 2016 and re­ceived 27 sub­mis­sions, which were in­cor­po­rated into the fi­nal doc­u­ment.

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