East Lewis Is­land site iden­ti­fied

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

A long-held as­pi­ra­tion to in­tro­duce ac­com­mo­da­tion on the Dampier Ar­chi­pel­ago is mov­ing for­ward as stake­hold­ers push to use the nat­u­ral beauty of the is­lands to boost the Pil­bara’s tourism stocks.

The City of Kar­ratha will seek in-prin­ci­ple sup­port from the Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife to build a camp­ground on the is­lands, with a pref­er­ence for the north­ern side of East Lewis Is­land.

The site would ei­ther be a stan­dard camp­ing area or glamp­ing-style ac­com­mo­da­tion.

A Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife spokes­woman said a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion was yet to be re­ceived but the depart­ment was pro­vid­ing ad­vice to the City about camp­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“East Lewis, West Lewis and Malus is­lands are all des­ig­nated for the pur­pose of con­ser­va­tion and recre­ation and could sup­port camp­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, sub­ject to en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments and other cri­te­ria,” she said.

While a camp­ground could stay open all year, a glamp­ing setup would likely have to be taken down over the wet sea­son, as is the case with the sa­fari-style tents at Sal Salis on the Nin­ga­loo Coast and Kool­ja­man at Cape Leveque.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said a camp­ground would im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity for vis­i­tors and lo­cals. “If the Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife sup­ports the site, we will con­sult with tra­di­tional own­ers, Pil­bara Port Author­ity, en­vi­ron­men­tal agen­cies, ap­proval au­thor­i­ties and the lo­cal com­mu­nity and de­velop up a busi­ness case for the project,” he said.

“We lo­cals know how fan­tas­tic our is­lands are, and hav­ing a camp­ing ground out there may help to make them ac­ces­si­ble to vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike.”

Mr Long said camp­ing on the is­land could open up fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for other tourism busi­nesses.

The DPaW spokes­woman also noted ap­proval of 21-year leases for 32 shacks on the is­lands man­aged by the Dampier Ar­chi­pel­ago Recre­ational Dwellers As­so­ci­a­tion, and one shack man­aged by the King Bay Game Fish­ing Club.

She said residents could use the shacks by reg­is­ter­ing their in­ter­est with the as­so­ci­a­tion and the club.

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