Huge investment planned for NSW national parks

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Grey nomads enjoy national park hikes
Many grey nomads love to take national park walking tracks. PIC: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

The NSW government is planning a huge investment in the state’s national parks to help them recover from the effects of last summer’s devastating bushfires.

As much as $400 million has been set aside to be spent over three years, and it will mean significantly improved access and facilities for visitors.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the funds include $257 million to be invested in new facilities, including more than 750 kilometres of new and upgraded walking tracks, upgrades to 33 campgrounds, and 61 new and improved picnic areas.

“This is about making national parks accessible and available to everyone, regardless of age or ability,” said Energy and Environment Minister, Matt Kean. “It will not only improve the experience of those visiting our parks but it will create jobs, drive investment and draw tourism into our regions.”

The additional funds include $97 million already earmarked for bushfire recovery work with another $40 million in economic stimulus to be added shortly, some of it from the federal government.

The SMH reports that last summer’s bushfires caused the closure of more than 250 parks precincts, and more than 150 have since re-opened.

“Not only are our national parks good for the environment and our health and wellbeing, they are good for the health of the economy – injecting around $18 billion into the economy each year and supporting 74,000 direct and indirect jobs,” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

People are expected to make more than 18.5 million visits to NSW’s 900 national parks this summer. The popularity of the parks comes despite a significant decline in tour buses with very few foreign tourists and most people avoiding public transport because of coronavirus concerns.

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2 Responses to Huge investment planned for NSW national parks

  1. I wonder how much of it is earmarked for uncontrollable bush fire prevention and co-ordinating (and co-operating) with neighbouring farmers? Maybe … just maybe, that might help prevent those uncontainable fires we’ve had in the past. That way the campgrounds and facilities may not get burnt out in the first place.

  2. More taxpayer funded destruction and development of National Parks by NPWS.

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