MEDIA RELEASE: Partnership between Shires to boost local tourism

Published: Thursday, 12 September 2019 at 2:29:48 PM

Local tourism is set to be boosted with the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup and Shire of Collie joining forces to conduct a feasibility study into the development of compatible ecotourism and water recreation facilities at the popular Glen Mervyn Dam.

Donnybrook Balingup Shire President Cr Brian Piesse said “the Glen Mervyn Dam is ideally located as an eco-tourist destination and water recreation precinct between Donnybrook and Collie with the Greater Wellington National Park to the north and the Bibbulmun Track crossing the dam wall to the south. The site is roughly at the one third mark along the 1000km Bibbulmun Track walking trail between Kalamunda and Albany.”

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation currently manage the Dam which is located within the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup, 34 kms from the Donnybrook town centre and 18 kms south of the Collie town centre. Most of the Glen Mervyn Dam water inflow emanates from the Shire of Collie.

“Without detracting from the initial premise of Glen Mervyn Dam as the major source of water for horticultural and animal production along the Preston River through Donnybrook, Boyanup and Dardanup, both Shires will benefit from an investment in better facilities at Glen Mervyn Dam by meeting an ever-increasing demand from tourists and families seeking out short stay camping and caravanning experiences. Together with the growing popularity of adventure events in the area, Glen Mervyn Dam could become a future venue for major water-based activities and events,” he said.

“Furthermore, the Collie-Mumballup Road serves as a popular route to the South West Highway and onto Balingup and the Blackwood River or alternatively through Boyup Brook to the Great Southern.”

Shire of Collie President Sarah Stanley said the project was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how working collaboratively could benefit both towns.

“Although Glen Mervyn Dam technically sits in the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup, development would have flow-on benefits for the Shire of Collie, as people explore the area and its many attractions.

“Tourists are not worried about Shire boundaries, they just need to know they are going to have a great experience when they visit our region.”

While it is a popular water skiing, swimming, fishing and camping spot there are currently no formal amenities at Glen Mervyn Dam.

The two local governments will jointly apply for funding from the Collie Futures Fund through the South West Development Commission to conduct a relevant assessment and feasibility study including land use and environmental impact, planning implications, stakeholder consultation in terms of concept design and ongoing management and operational implications.

“We look forward to working with the Shire of Collie to bring this tourist opportunity to fruition as a unique camping and recreation destination in the South West,” Cr Piesse said.

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