In a bid to boost the eco-tourism industry in the Peel region and contribute to the environmental preservation of Mandurah’s southern areas, the City of Mandurah is planning to nominate the Yalgorup National Park for the National Heritage List.
However, in order to do so, they need something else: community support.
According to a report from the City of Mandurah, support from residents, the tourism industry and government representatives is crucial for the success of the application.
But according to the report, there are concerns ‘that the site is under-appreciated by the general public’.
“Officers believe that prior to submitting a nomination, the City would be better placed to spend considerable effort in engaging the local community and other stakeholders to gather a critical mass support,” the report read.
“When this support is evident, the nomination should be submitted.”
The City released a Community Engagement Campaign on Tuesday last week which hopes to increase community support through a series of festivals, art workshops, talks and wildlife walks.
The events will take off with the Lake Clifton festival in September, followed by wildflower and orchid walks, night stalks sessions in October, bird walks in January 2018, artist workshops in March 2018 and a Bioblitz community surveying initiative in November 2018.
Between September 2017 and January 2019, the City will also hold several community talks and engagement sessions.
Throughout the process, the City will also engage with stakeholders such as the Murray and Waroona Shires, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC), local schools, the Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) and the Peel Trails Groups among others.
The Yalgorup National Park, which includes Lake Clifton and the Thrombolites, is an important habitat for a rage of threatened flora and fauna which are protected under both the state and federal environmental legislation.
These include Western ringtail possums, king spider orchids and one of the last significant stands of Tuart forests endemic from the Swan Coastal Plain.
However, the area’s environment is also highly threatened by groundwater abstractions from local residents, reduced rainfall, increasing temperatures, introduced species and off-road driving.
It is believed that the endorsement of the national park as a National and World Heritage site would ensure that the area is appropriately protected and maintained and boost the region’s eco-tourism.
The lengthy application process for the listing can take up to 20 years.