COVID-19 pandemic stalls project to create eco tourism park at Moresby Range near Geraldton

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
It is hoped the Moresby Ranges near Geraldton will be home to an eco tourism park in the future.
Camera IconIt is hoped the Moresby Ranges near Geraldton will be home to an eco tourism park in the future. Credit: Supplied/Corey Horton

A project which would see the creation of an eco tourism park at Moresby Range has been stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State Government in 2019 committed $30,000 to develop a masterplan aimed at identifying interesting attractions, potential recreational opportunities, cultural experiences and access requirements needed to open the park to the public.

The Shire of Chapman Valley contributed an additional $15,000 to the planning process.

It was originally thought the masterplan would be finished by June 2020, but it is now expected to be finalised and formally endorsed later this year.

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesperson said the COVID-19 pandemic had made it difficult to conduct project consultation last year.

“Restrictions that were in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and natural weather events delayed some phases of consultation which was essential to help shape the final draft management plan,” they said.

“Once the plan has been formally endorsed, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will pursue funding opportunities in liaison with project partners.”

Shire of Chapman Valley chief executive Maurice Battilana said it was unfortunate but not unexpected for the creation of the masterplan to be affected by the pandemic.

“We are understanding that COVID has put a spanner in the works for a lot of projects,” he said.

President Anthony Farrell said he looked forward to seeing the eco tourism park become a reality, but the Shire understood the planning process was a time consuming one.

“It was never going to be a rushed project and it is just something we will chip away at a bit over time and we will eventually get there,” he said.

“It has been put on the backburner a bit.”

The Moresby Range is located near Geraldton and can be viewed from Mills Lookout and Wokatherra Hill.

There are currently no campgrounds, trails or public access at the range.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails