Environment SA News

Budget boost for SA’s parks

South Australia’s parks have received more than $130 million in today’s State Budget 2020-21. 

There is also more than $50 million to improve environmental outcomes in the Riverland and support flood risk mitigation at key South Australian rivers in Adelaide’s western and northern suburbs. 

The parks funding will revitalise national parks and reserves in regions across the state, including the Flinders Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley, which will increase visitor numbers, boost regional economies and create jobs. 

The Budget provides $45 million over four years to rebuild tourism attractions on Kangaroo Island, such as Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Caves visitor precincts, which were destroyed by last summer’s bushfires. 

The Parks 2025 initiative will receive $44 million over four years to improve park infrastructure and conserve natural landscapes and wildlife across the state.  

Adelaide Botanic Gardens is also set for a $9.2 million upgrade, including roof and building works for the heritage-listed Goodman and Tram Barn A buildings, as well as night lighting and utility upgrades to help activate the gardens through increased access and events. 

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The Goodman building at Adelaide Botanic Garden

In response to last summer’s devastating bushfires the State Budget has included an historic amount to increase fire hazard reduction across South Australia. 

The $28 million over four years (and $9 million per annum thereafter) will allow for an increase in prescribed burns by as much as 50 per cent in the coming years. 

The Budget measures are expected to help attract more visitors, support regional communities and create local jobs through boosting nature-based tourism and protecting the environment for future generations.  

The State Government’s goal is to double nature and heritage tourism expenditure to $3.4 billion over the next decade, creating 4000 new jobs. 

The new investments will fund a range of projects, from new visitor facilities and campgrounds to adventure experiences such as mountain bike and hiking trails across the state and improved access at South Australia’s reservoirs. 

The Budget committed more than $50 million to improve outcomes around key South Australian rivers. There is $37.6 million over two years to improve environmental outcomes at the Riverland as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, including boosting native fish habitats and increasing river connectivity. 

There is also $16 million over three years to support flood risk mitigation projects at the Patawalonga and Gawler rivers in Adelaide’s western and northern suburbs. 

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