Walk­ways plan for is­land Maggie on new track

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON

WALK­ING tracks to open up pre­vi­ously in­ac­ces­si­ble parts of Mag­netic Is­land are a step closer with Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice plan­ning a list of projects for fund­ing.

QPWS has iden­ti­fied tracks and look­outs as key re­cre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties for the is­land.

It fol­lows op­er­a­tors’ calls for new walk­ing tracks to help at­tract vis­i­tors from the ad­ven­ture tourism mar­ket.

QPWS said it was re­view­ing dif­fer­ent op­tions.

A spokes­woman said new tracks and look­outs had been iden­ti­fied.

“There are a num­ber of fac­tors which need to be con­sid­ered in­clud­ing pro­tec­tion of nat­u­ral/ cul­tural re­sources, the var­i­ous con­di­tions on the is­land, fu­ture use, safety, cost and on­go­ing main­te­nance,” she said.

“QPWS rangers are work­ing through th­ese is­sues to iden­tify a pri­or­ity list to put for­ward in the state wide pri­ori­ti­sa­tion pro­gram for con­sid­er­a­tion for cap­i­tal fund­ing.

“Tracks and look­outs have been a key value iden­ti­fied through QPWS Mag­netic Is­land plan­ning pro­cesses.”

Walk­ways and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture sim­i­lar to that on Kan­ga­roo Is­land, Tas­ma­nia and in New Zealand have been sug­gested.

The walks would be mar­keted to tourists look­ing for ei­ther a na­ture or ad­ven­ture ex­pe­ri­ence.

Walks that in­clude stun­ning scenery and high- qual­ity in­fra­struc­ture have been hugely suc­cess­ful in at­tract­ing tourists in Aus­tralia and over­seas.

A QPWS spokes­woman said no dead­lines had been set yet for con­struc­tion.

“No dead­lines have been set for new tracks but ex­ist­ing tracks will con­tinue to be up­graded as part of rou­tine cap­i­tal and main­te­nance pro­grams in QPWS,” she said.

“QPWS rangers are con­tin­u­ing to work closely with com­mu­nity part­ners, other lo­cal land man­agers and neigh­bours to re­alise im­proved com­mu­nity ben­e­fits.

“All new projects, in­clud­ing new walk­ing tracks, would need to be as­sessed in re­gards to the en­vi­ron­men­tal values of the park and the po­ten­tial im­pacts and ben­e­fits of each pro­posal.”

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