TOURISTS AND WORKERS EXPECTED TO DESCEND ON REGION
WESTERN Sydney will be home to a $36 million, cagefree zoo housing lions, elephants, giraffes and more.
It will generate more than 200 jobs in the Western Sydney Parklands.
LIONS, elephants and giraffes will be among animals that will be featured at a zoo in Sydney’s west, attracting tourists from around the world.
Elevated walkways will give visitors a treetop view of African animals such as cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and rhinoceros when it opens near Rooty Hill in late 2017.
There will also be underwater glass viewing areas of hippopotamus, crocodiles and other aquatic life.
The $36 million, cage-free zoo will be built at the Bungarribee Super Park at Western Sydney Parklands.
It will be run by Sydney Zoo, whose founder John Burgess also set up Sydney Aquarium.
The 16.4ha site will feature more than 30 exhibits.
It is expected to generate more than 200 jobs once it is up and running.
The partnership between Sydney Zoo, Western Sydney Parklands Trust and Blacktown Council is expected to bring 745,000 people a year to the region, as well as a $45 million boost to the NSW economy. Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali said the zoo would make Sydney’s west a must-visit destination.
“It will be a cage-free zoo with limitless horizons which brings visitors safely face to face with animals, making it a hugely successful attraction,” he said.
Sydney Zoo managing di- rector Jake Burgess said the programs would increase awareness about poaching and habitat destruction.
“Our high-capacity facility will feature significant enclosure space, which is ideal for breeding programs,” he said. “We will have extensive veterinary capabilities in-house as well as an animal rescue pro- gram, to give our native animals the best chance of survival.”
Sydney Zoo is preparing a State Significant Development Application, which will be lodged with the State Government.
Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic said: “We need the Baird Government to ... guarantee that this decision will not impact on local businesses and job generators such as Featherdale...”