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South Australia Allocates AU$30 Million to Enhance National Parks and Wildlife Protection

South Australia’s national parks are set to benefit from a AU$30 million funding boost included in the 2024-25 State Budget. This significant investment aims to enhance wildlife protection, biodiversity, and visitor experiences across the state’s extensive network of parks and reserves.

The funding will enable the development of new trails and infrastructure at recently opened parks such as Nilpena Ediacara National Park and Glenthorne National Park. 

Additionally, it will support the launch of the soon-to-be-opened Worlds End Gorge National Park near Burra. These enhancements are designed to make the parks more accessible and enjoyable for visitors.

Internationally recognized sites like Cleland Wildlife Park and Naracoorte Caves will also benefit from the funding, as reported by the Premier of South Australia..

These sites are known for offering world-class visitor experiences and will continue to do so with the aid of this budget boost. In 2023, Cleland Wildlife Park saw a 34% increase in visitors, reaching almost 130,000 people.

An additional AU$10 million will ensure the continued funding of 20 park rangers, crucial for managing landscapes and protecting important ecosystems. 

This funding addresses a shortfall left by the previous government, which appointed new rangers without providing long-term financial support. These rangers play a vital role in maintaining the health and safety of the parks.

The 2024-25 State Budget also includes an extra AU$20 million over the next four years for enhanced services across South Australia’s network of over 350 national parks and reserves. 

These areas contribute significantly to the state’s environmental, social, and economic well-being, with tourism to these parks generating at least au$374 million annually and supporting more than 1,200 private sector jobs.

Specific projects funded by the budget include new guided tours of the world-renowned fossil fields at Nilpena Ediacara National Park and enhanced visitor experiences at Kelly Hill Caves, Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, and Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. 

Additionally, the Epic Mountain Bike Trail in Mount Remarkable National Park and bushwalking experiences on the Wild South Coast Way and Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail will see improvements.

Extra staff will be hired for visitor facilities on Granite Island, Glenthorne, Nilpena Ediacara, and the Southern Flinders Ranges, including Mambray Creek and Worlds End Gorge. In the Mount Lofty Ranges, au$1 million will be spent on bringing back heathland and grassy woodland birds following years of habitat loss.

The budget allocates $6.5 million annually, increasing to au$7.9 million by 2027-28, to protect vulnerable biodiversity. This funding will support conservation science, data collection, and mapping to guide planning decisions for renewable energy, fire and emergency management, and conservation investments. 

Projects include developing a contemporary threatened species listing and creating the state’s first Biodiversity Act.

“The State Government is committed to investing in our national parks, which cover about one-fifth of the entire state and almost a third of our coastline,” said Susan Close. 

“This investment is crucial for protecting wildlife, boosting biodiversity, and preserving native vegetation, especially in the face of climate change. It will ensure our parks and reserves are maintained and staffed appropriately, providing memorable experiences for visitors.”

This substantial investment reflects the state’s dedication to preserving its natural heritage while enhancing the recreational opportunities available to both residents and tourists. The improvements aim to ensure that South Australia’s national parks continue to be treasured havens for wildlife and popular destinations for nature enthusiasts.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: South Australia Allocates AU Million to Enhance National Parks and Wildlife Protection! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/australia/south-australia-allocates-au30-million-to-enhance-national-parks-and-wildlife-protection/