Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today announced a new national park for NSW - providing another significant boost for the State's koala population - along with a major new package that will improve access to existing national parks.
The State's newest national park will cover around 3680 hectares in the north of Goulburn electorate, bordering Wollondilly. The new park is centered around Tugalong Station – about 25 kilometres northwest of Bowral.
"The NSW Liberals and Nationals have been careful custodians of the State's national parks and I am thrilled to be able to unveil a new one today," Ms Berejiklian said.
"This new national park will ensure that a vital koala wilderness area south of Sydney is preserved. Like all national parks, it will be open to the public so they can explore the wilderness country."
Ms Berejiklian also announced a $150 million investment to improve access to national parks across NSW – funding made possible due to the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals and Nationals.
"This includes major upgrade works in places like Sydney's Royal National Park and in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, making it easier for people to enjoy our wonderful natural beauty," Ms Berejiklian said.
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the new national park contains some of the Southern Highlands' best koala habitat.
"Koalas are an iconic species and we are acting to ensure their survival," Ms Upton said.
"The new national park will not only add to the State's conservation lands, it is yet another example of how the NSW Government is moving to protect and preserve the koala population."
The Government's $150 million investment to improve access to existing national parks includes upgraded walking tracks, better visitor infrastructure and facilities and new digital tools such as virtual tours and livestreaming cameras.
This will include:
- More access – significant upgrade to the 13.6 kilometre Grand Cliff Top Walk from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area ($10 million). Also, upgrading access to iconic lookout points to a mobility impaired access standard ($9.9 million).
- Improved park visitor infrastructure and facilities – expansion of picnic areas, BBQs, water provision, facilities ($38.7 million) and increased support for families and people with restricted mobility ($45 million). This will include upgraded picnic facilities and the walking tracks at Audley Weir, in the Royal National Park.
- Safe access – Investment in making our extensive network of walking tracks and trails safer and more accessible ($36.4 million); expansion of the 'Think before you Trek' safety program for bushwalkers and work with other agencies to deliver other priority safety programs like rock fishing and enhanced mobile connectivity in the parks ($1 million).
"NSW boasts some of the most majestic and picturesque coastal lookouts, outback walking tracks, camping grounds and beaches in the world and we want more visitors to experience the natural beauty and wonder of our national parks," Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Upton added: "As well as international and interstate tourists, we want to make it easier for families to get out there and discover the natural beauty our State."
Link to vision and images of new national park: Tugalong.