Millions to be spent on metro parks to draw more Adelaideans outdoors

Nearly 40 infrastructure, education and maintenance projects will be funded across seven metropolitan National Parks as part of a $10.4 million State Government election commitment.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said Para Wirra Recreation Park in the north and Onkaparinga River National and Recreation Parks in the south were big winners.

“We’ll be spending $2.2 million in Para Wirra on projects including campgrounds, an education and information hub, trail network upgrades, natural play areas and toilets,” he said.

“In Onkaparinga we’ll be spending $1.7 million on a major lookout over the Punchbowl area, an upgrade to the facilities at Perry’s Bend, campgrounds, trails and other facilities.

“We’ll be investing $700,000 each in Anstey Hill Recreation Park and Morialta/Black Hill Recreation Park, with $500,000 each being spent on Cobbler Creek and O’Halloran Hill, and $140,000 on Hallett Cove Conservation Park.

“The money will be spent on new and upgraded trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, information and signage, with O’Halloran Hill and Cobbler Creek receiving upgrades for mountain bikers.

“We estimate around 20 jobs will be created in the design and construction of these projects, as well as other jobs at the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

“Five new park rangers will be running open days and education programmes and maintaining trails, and $250,000 will fund eight seasonal trail maintenance workers.”

Mr Hunter said the projects reflected what the community told the Government they needed.

“More than 11,000 people provided a huge number of suggestions, and two community co-design teams then recommended which ones should be funded,” he said

“We believe National Parks can serve the dual purpose of conservation and recreation, and it is important that the community feels a sense of ownership and pride towards them – this is why we have involved the community in this process.

“They told us that basic access and amenity was far more important to them than investment on infrastructure, and we have listened – people asked us for simple things like toilets and drinking water and better park information, so that’s what we’re providing.

“I would like to thank everyone who responded to our online survey, enjoyed a park open day or took part in a round table or one of the community co-design teams.

“Together, we are building parks that people will love spending time in well into the future.”
Design work and planning is under way for the projects, with on-ground works to begin soon.

Mr Hunter made the announcement today at Picnic in the Park, the final event to celebrate the centenary of Morialta Conservation Park.