NSW Budget 2018: Take a walk on the wild side
Iconic walking tracks across NSW will get a major facelift as part of a $1.9 billion investment to protect and improve the State’s environment and heritage.
Central to the investment is $630 million for the State’s National Parks estate, walking trails, public parklands and gardens to enhance visitor safety, amenity, enjoyment, and for education and research.
The funding, in this year’s Budget, demonstrates the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s commitment to preserve our natural assets, unique history and cultures.
More than $50 million will be spent upgrading iconic National Park walking tracks in Sydney, Port Stephens, Tweed-Byron, on the Macleay Valley Coast and the South Coast.
In Sydney, the Harbour Scenic Walk between Georges Heights and Middle Head, the Royal National Park’s Great Southern Nature Walk and the ‘Coast Track’ will be improved or extended.
“Our National Parks are world-famous. We are investing in their future while preserving their past,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
“This funding will ensure our National Parks continue to grow and are accessible to everyone. It will protect threatened species and preserve habitats for our wildlife.” Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, Dominic Perrottet, said he is keen to experience the improved walking tracks.
“Bushwalking is one of my real passions away from politics, I am thrilled we will improve these iconic walking tracks so more people can see some of the most beautiful places in NSW first-hand.
“Our National Parks are among the real treasures of NSW, getting outdoors and enjoying them is a great way to spend time with your family and friends, and a good way to burn some energy off your kids,” Mr Perrottet said.
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton added, “It is vitally important we protect and conserve the State’s environment and heritage assets.
“Our goal is to grow the NSW National Park estate and preserve our heritage, including our rich Aboriginal history.”
Other highlights from this year’s Environment and Heritage Budget include:
- $100 million to protect communities and the environment from natural disasters such as fire and extreme weather events;
- $100 million to improve waste management and resource recovery;
- $89 million to encourage landowners to maintain their sensitive habitats;
- $50 million, jointly funded by the Commonwealth, for a visitor precinct in time for the 250th anniversary in 2020 of the landing of Captain Cook and the meeting of two cultures on the shores of Kamay Botany Bay.