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Ministerial Announcement for Bibbulmun Track

Upgrade for popular Bibbulmun Track

Environment Minister Bill Marmion announced on Sunday 20 March almost $400,000 would be spent on trail maintenance and upgrading facilities along the Bibbulmun Track, as the trail continues to grow in popularity among local and international visitors.

“We are seeing about 430,000 visits on the track each year, comprising an estimated 167,000 walks averaging 2.6 days each,” Mr Marmion said.

“The last survey of the track showed 69 per cent of its users were undertaking day walks, mostly with friends and family, rather than the more challenging multi-day walks.”

Speaking on the Track in Kalamunda today, the Minister said the investment was part of $1.2million in funding over three years to upgrade several walk and mountain bike tracks through the Department of Environment and Conservation’s (DEC) Long Trails Maintenance Capital program.

Work along the Bibbulmun Track – which stretches nearly 1000km from Perth to Albany – will include erosion control along the trail and improvements to associated infrastructure.

Many of the campsites will receive major upgrades with new toilets, water tanks, gates and signage.

“It’s clear from a recent survey that if we are to maintain the Bibbulmun Track at the forefront of the world’s great distance walks, then we have to invest in maintenance and improvements to facilities,” Mr Marmion said.

“However, it is an investment that is being recouped many times over. For example, economic activity associated with the Track is increasing with walkers spending an estimated $39million a year on preparation, travel to and from the Track and during their visits. This compares with $21million in 2003.

“This increase is testament to work done in the past decade to improve the visitor experience to ensure it is one of Australia’s best known and best loved nature-based recreational facilities.”

The Bibbulmun Track User Survey published in 2009 was conducted by the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, with funding support from Lotterywest and assistance from DEC, which manages the Track.

The Minister said he was impressed with the level of professionalism and dedication the Foundation had demonstrated.

“I hope many more young people will be inspired to join the Foundation and get involved in using and caring for the Bibbulmun Track,” he said.

‘Bushwalking and camping provide a wonderful opportunity for all people to reconnect with nature and each other and enjoy the wonderful natural assets Western Australia has to offer.

“The popularity of the Bibbulmun Track is growing each year, with more people enjoying the physical challenge the walk provides as well as the spectacular natural environment through which the Track winds.

“The last survey showed that 87 per cent of track users were very satisfied with their experience on the Track, and 89 per cent of walkers planned to use the Track again.

“The Bibbulmun Track is set to remain an important attraction for regional WA and the State Government will continue to support it.”