A short walk in the park for Fitzgerald River NP

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Plans to build a full walk trail in Western Australia’s Fitzgerald River National Park have been rejected.

Instead, two short distance walk trails on either side of the wilderness management zone have been approved for people to enjoy one of Australia’s biggest national parks, east of Albany.

The Environmental Protection Authority argued that a full walk trail could lead to the potential introduction of Phytophtora dieback into uninfected areas of the park’s wilderness area.

The Government announced plans for the 40km trail in December 2009 and since then relevant Government authorities and concerned citizens have argued whether the proposed trail meet environmental objectives for biodiversity.

Western Australia. Environment Minister Bill Marmion has set down strict conditions for the project’s implementation including a dieback risk assessment, management plan and response plan to protect uninfected areas of the park.

“Fitzgerald River National Park is extremely significant,” he said. “Nearly 20 per cent of WA’s flora species are found within the national park – many of which occur only within the park.”

The two approved trails and accompanying camping facilities and trail heads will be built along the southern coast from Point Ann to Fitzgerald Inlet and from Hamersley Inlet to Quoin Head.

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