Araluen returns to DEC management

22/01/2010 - 10:01

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Management of the scenic Araluen Botanic Park will return to the state government under the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), from the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), under new arrangements announced today.

Araluen returns to DEC management

Management of the scenic Araluen Botanic Park will return to the state government under the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), from the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC), under new arrangements announced today.

The park has been managed by the Araluen Botanic Park Foundation under a lease agreement with WAPC since 1995 during which time its spectacular gardens and tulip displays have grown in size and noteriety.

The Foundation has also successfully developed community events such as the annual chilli festival (started in 2003) which has become so popular its outgrown the Araluen venue and will move to Fremantle this year.

Foundation general manager, Rod Ross previously told WA Business News that the impending return to governemnt control had created a certain amount of uncertainty surrounding the future of Araluen in terms of the Foundation's role going forward.

However he believed DEC would do a good job when responsibility for the management of the park was returned to the agency.

"But the Foundation would like to create some brother and sisters events," he said.

"Our main role is to develop Araluen and promote Araluen but the chilli festival has certainly outstripped our expectations as to what it might become and now its poised to become a key cultural event."

The chilli festival was a gold medal winner in 2007 and a 2008 finalist in the WA Tourism Awards and approximately 11,500 people attended last year's event in March.

Planning Minister John Day said the transfer would guarantee the preservation of the park as the DEC had the practical expertise to care for Araluen, given that it already managed nearby nature reserves and forest areas.

"I acknowledge the foundation's contribution to the many significant improvements at the park in recent years, including the restoration of heritage structures, gardens, paths, steps and terraces," Mr Day said.

Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the new management arrangement would apply from July 1, 2010 and the Foundation would be contracted to manage the 14 hectare developed area of the park while DEC would manage the rest, in a manner that complemented the adjacent Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve. 

Araluen Park was created in 1929 by J.J. Simons, who named it after an Aboriginal word meaning 'singing waters'.

It was sold to the private sector in the 1980s and subsequently purchased by the WAPC in 1990.


However

Full announcement below:

 

Fri 22 January, 2010

New management plan for Araluen Park
Portfolio: Planning, Environment

The State Government today announced new management arrangements for the scenic Araluen Botanic Park, near Roleystone.

The cornerstone of the new arrangements would see the management of the 60ha park transferred to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), from the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

Planning Minister John Day said the transfer would guarantee the preservation of the park, which was well known for its spectacular gardens and tulip displays.

He said DEC had the practical expertise to care for Araluen, given that it already managed nearby nature reserves and forest areas.

The park, which has been managed by the Araluen Botanic Park Foundation under a lease agreement with WAPC since 1995, has 14ha of developed garden beds. It also included a number of heritage buildings and is on the State Register of Heritage Places. 

"I acknowledge the foundation's contribution to the many significant improvements at the park in recent years, including the restoration of heritage structures, gardens, paths, steps and terraces," Mr Day said. 

"We are grateful to all the foundation's volunteers and hope they will continue to actively support the park in the future." 

Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the new management arrangement would apply from July 1, 2010 and allow DEC to manage Araluen as a multi-use park. 

She said the foundation would be contracted to manage the 14ha developed area of the park while DEC would manage the rest, in a manner that complemented the adjacent Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve. 

Araluen Park was created in 1929 by J.J. Simons, who named it after an Aboriginal word meaning 'singing waters'. It was sold to the private sector in the 1980s and subsequently purchased by the WAPC in 1990.

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