The Murujuga National Park north of Withnell Bay will be closed to the public through to the end of 2024 to facilitate the construction of the $27.3 million access road and day-use facilities. The new road will provide a main entry point to the Murujuga National Park and will facilitate 2WD drive access to Conzinc Bay, providing improved access for both locals and tourists.
The 2-year closure will allow the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) as joint managers of the National Park, to complete the environmental, heritage, and geotechnical investigations required to finalise the detailed design of the road, and to allow time for the construction phase of the project which will be managed by the City of Karratha.
MAC CEO Peter Jeffries said there will be numerous benefits from the temporary closure which would ultimately lead to MAC and the DBCA being able to better protect the natural environment and incredible cultural assets of Murujuga.
“The closure enables us to undertake some urgent remediation works to the Jump-up to protect vulnerable rock art, to complete the investigations required to further inform the design of the road, and then start construction”.
“In addition, it provides an opportunity for the rangers to start rehabilitating the coastal dunes and tracks, and to undertake important turtle and shorebird nest monitoring without the risk of the data being compromised by 4WD activity,” he said.
DBCA regional leader for parks and visitor services Matthew Verdouw said that updates and information on access will continue to be published on the Department’s Park Alerts website and via social media channels.
“The new access road will facilitate safer access and the protection and promotion of the rock art through well designed infrastructure and interpretive signage”.
“Planning is also under way for new day-use facilities at Conzinc Bay for the local community and visitors to this culturally significant area.”
The $27.3m National Park Access Road and Day-use Area Project is jointly funded by the State Government and City of Karratha and will contribute to the liveability of Karratha, and local economic diversification opportunities through Aboriginal tourism.
As well as creating a sealed access road, the project will deliver new day use facilities including toilets, shade structures and seating, BBQs, lookouts, mountain bike and hiking trails, and interpretive signage.
The access road and day-use areas are the first stage of the overarching Murujuga Tourism Program with a business case currently being prepared by MAC for a tourism precinct. The Tourism Precinct will include a Living Knowledge Centre and accommodation and if funding is secured, construction is planned to commence in early-2025 with completion in late-2026.
MAC CEO Peter Jeffries said that by investing in well-designed infrastructure, we will be able to safely share Aboriginal culture with the broader community and continue to build a shared pride in the ancient history of Australia.
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