Directions for South Australia – Promoting SA’s National Parks

“Being out in nature is good for our health, so we need to ensure everyone can enjoy our national parks” – Kelly Vincent MLC

Introduction:

South Australia’s national parks are vital to our tourism sector. Our parks attract more than four million visits each year with around one million of these visits by people from interstate or overseas (DEWNR, 2012). South Australia’s revenue from our tourism industry could be boosted if our national park access was improved.

There is a lot of evidence that shows being out in nature is good for our health, so we need to ensure that everyone has the ability to enjoy our parks. Dignity Party believe South Australia should be promoting our wheelchair accessible parks and trails to promote accessible tourism. We should also be looking at how some of our inaccessible trails could be improved for people with disabilities, as well as parents with prams.

South Australia may have excellent campsites and caravan parks, but we need to ensure everyone can access these by encouraging accessible accommodation facilities.

Dignity Party support the co-management of our national parks, conservation parks and wilderness areas with Aboriginal South Australians. It is crucial that we respect and listen to the knowledge of Aboriginal Australian’s about how to care for their land, and protection of sacred sites must be ensured.

We know that South Australia’s climate is getting warmer due to climate change and we need to be prepared for the impacts of this. We need to continue to monitor the climate projections for SA to ensure we do all that we can to protect our native flora and fauna.

Dignity Party support Friends of the Heysen Trail (FoHT) initiatives to enhance the Heysen Trail in Deep Creek, and believes that improved accessibility is a great win for tourism and social inclusion.

Action:

Dignity Party believe our national parks are crucial to our tourism industry and that more could be done to improve access for all.

In South Australia we must:

  • Encourage accessibility of our national parks and their accommodation facilities for people with disabilities
  • Continue co-management of our national parks with Aboriginal South Australians
  • Ensure that all Aboriginal sacred sites continue to be protected and respected
  • Prepare for the impacts of climate change to protect our native flora and fauna.
  • Fund and implement Reinvigorating the Heysen Trail Working Group’s proposal for two accessible trails, the first of which is a 200 metre Class 1 accessible walk located at the southern trailhead (Cape Jervis), and the second, a Class 1, 1.4 km return walk along Goondooloo Ridge in Deep Creek Conservation Park.

Dignity Party OPPOSE limited access to our national parks where accessible trails and facilities could be provided.

Dignity Party PROPOSE boosting our national park tourism revenue by increasing access for all.