GSCORE is proud to announce the launch of a strategic, ten-year plan to develop a network of sustainable trails encouraging family-friendly, outdoor experiences across the Great Southern region.
Rick Wilson MP, Federal Member for O’Connor, today officiated the launch of the plan, which outlines a network of upgraded and proposed new trails for activities including bushwalking, kayaking, snorkelling and mountain bike riding in some of the region’s most-loved recreation sites.
The plan aims to establish the Great Southern as a world-class trails destination while delivering social, environmental and economic benefits for local communities.
The Great Southern Regional Trails Master Plan was developed by the Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence over the past 18 months in partnership with all 11 local government authorities in the Great Southern. It has the support of the Australian Government, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and the Great Southern Development Commission.
Rick Wilson MP, Federal Member for O’Connor said the plan, which was funded in part through the Building Better Regions Fund with $129,482, will support the Federal Government’s goals of economic recovery and health and wellbeing.
“The Regional Trails Master Plan emulates the Federal Government’s plan to help raise the recreational and tourism profile of Western Australia. It has the added benefit of fortifying our economic sustainability and growing regional jobs,” Mr Wilson said.
The launch took place today at Mount Barker Hill, one of the 14 proposed priority trail locations identified in the plan as a walking and cycling trail activity hub. The site will encourage local families and visitors alike to appreciate the region’s outstanding natural beauty while being active outdoors. The trail network will be complemented by cultural, historical and environmental interpretation.
GSCORE Executive Director Dr Lenore Lyons explained the Master Plan was developed to guide decisions about investment in, and management of, trails and provides a vision for a future Great Southern trail network.
“In 2018 GSCORE undertook an audit of outdoor recreation trails and concluded that there are a large number of walking trails of varying quality, but very few mountain biking and cycling trails, or aquatic trails for snorkelling, diving, kayaking, and canoeing,” Dr Lyons said.
“The Master Plan aims to address those gaps in trail supply. It prioritises trail experiences which are valued by local communities and visitors for recreation, improved health, wellbeing and economic outcomes. Our goal is to ensure that, by 2030, the Great Southern Region provides a diverse range of quality trail experiences showcasing our unique landscapes, biodiversity, geology, Aboriginal culture and settler heritage.”
The project was funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund and Lotterywest with matching funding support from all 11 local governments in the Great Southern region, as well as the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. The local government areas incorporated in the plan are:
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To view the Executive Summary of the RTMP, please visit here.