Park rethink

KINGS PARK’S future is being reimagined, with the city’s flagship park suffering from recent cuts in corporate sponsorship.

The Botanics Garden and Parks Authority is working on its next five year plan (2020-2025) with a draft to go to the state environment minister for approval mid-year.

The BGPA has released a survey asking people to rank the park’s priorities like maintaining “presentation” of the gardens and parklands, providing leisurely space for recreation and picnics, providing access for people with special needs, promoting Noongar culture, maintaining war memorials, protecting the bushland, and continuing its scientific work (the park has about 30 research projects on the go, on topics like seed conservation and species recovery). 

Survey takers are also asked if they think the park should “build new visitor attractions” or “offer a wider range of eating and drinking options”.

• Parkgoer Jennifer Lucy enjoys Kings Park for its “passive recreation”, with a heavy emphasis on passive.

Last year the authority’s annual report noted Kings Park’s financial sustainability was a “significant issue” with “additional revenue opportunities” a key.

Over the past five years corporate sponsorship has dried up from 15 per cent of the park’s revenue to 7 per cent this year.

A 15-year naming rights deal with a main sponsor expired in mid-2017, when “Synergy Parklands” was renamed “May Drive Parklands”. 

The $9 million, 12-year partnership with Rio Tinto which funded Naturescape is scheduled to wrap up in 2020 if not extended. 

The other significant issue listed in last year’s report was “balancing recreational and conservation interests”.

The survey’s up at http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au until January 31. 

Environment minister Stephen Dawson said in a statement: “Kings Park belongs to the people of WA and it is important we consult with the community on its future. The park has a long history of involving the community in the care of the park and I look forward to seeing this continue.

“I encourage Western Australians to complete the survey and contribute to this important process.”

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