Work at national park will improve access for people with disability

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An upgrade to a walk trail in Yanchep National Park later this year will improve access for people with disability. File picture

DISABILITY access on a walk trail in Yanchep National Park is set to improve with work due to be carried out in the later part of the new financial year.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) said the Yanchep wetlands walk trail would be upgraded with an existing boardwalk being extended and the rest of the trail improved to a consistent standard to provide more access.

Work due to start in dryer months once lake levels are lower will be completed in the 2022-2023 financial year.

This week the McGowan Government announced Accessible Parks WA – a partnership between the state government, Nature Play WA and Break the Boundary to develop trails, paths, canoe ramps, boardwalks and activity hubs, as well as improved visitor information on the Explore Parks WA website for people with disability.

DBCA said Break the Boundary, which supported adaptive mountain biking and trail use and already had an existing activity hub near Kalamunda, was still exploring options for where two new regional hubs would be developed.

At this stage, Break the Boundary was focussing on locations where adaptive trails (those suitable and designed for adaptive trail equipment) were located.

Adaptive trails have recently been constructed at Collie and Dwellingup.

Environment Minister Reece Whitby said making parks more accessible helped improve the wellbeing of people with disability and the health of the wider community.

“I look forward to partnering with Nature Play WA and Break the Boundary to promote recreational activities in national parks around the state,’’ he said.

Disability Services Minister Don Punch said upgraded and more accessible facilities would bring enjoyment to children and young people with disability, their carers, family and friends, service providers and educators.

The four main components of the Accessible Parks WA initiative are:

  • $1 million for infrastructure improvements for visitors with disability in parks including Perth Hills, Walpole-Nornalup, Lake Kepwari, Yanchep and Dryandra;
  • $570,000 towards a Nature Play WA partnership delivering the ‘Every Kid in a Park’ initiative to connect children with disability to the conservation estate via an app;
  • The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will partner with Break the Boundary to develop in-park access experiences for visitors with disability, with $250,000 invested in the creation of two regional activity hubs; and
  • $180,000 for disability access information improvements on the Explore Parks WA website.