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Economics of a level playing field: A comparison of urban bushland and parkland

Hopper, S. and Burke, G. (1994) Economics of a level playing field: A comparison of urban bushland and parkland. In: Proceedings of the National Greening Australia Conference, 4 - 6 October, Fremantle, Western Australia pp. 175-180.

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This paper outlines integrated management activities, including economic and social aspects, to highlight the importance of and need for appropriate bushland management in a modern Australian city. Kings Park and Botanic Garden will be used as a primary case study, with additional data from representative local government areas in Perth. The comparison provided may be useful for policy development in urban bushland management.

Kings Park and botanic Garden occupies 400 ha within walking distance of the Perth CBD. It overlooks the city and Swan River, and contains about 260 ha of bushland, 50 ha of lawn and parkland, 17 ha of botanic garden, 19 ha of arboreta, and the remainder infrastructure (roads, depot, nursery etc), leased areas (restaurant, cafes, tennis club) and a major water reservoir.

The Park is the State's most heavily visited tourist attraction, each year servicing about half a million adult Western Australian visitors, 200 000 adult interstate visitors and 200 000 adult international visitors. Taking into account repeat visitation per annum averaging three times, and the popularity of the Park with children as well as adults, total visitation is about five million per year.

The large area of bushland on the doorstep of the CBD is a very special attraction of Kings Park, and is Botanic Garden focussing on the rich Western Australian flor is of increasing interest. In 1993, a draft bushland management plan was released for public comment. Major management issues concern fire control, weed invasion and management, restoration of degraded areas, recreational use, and a growing demand for education, research and interpretation services associated with urban bushland.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden has developed new strategic directions and an organisational structure to give greater emphasis to integrated management of its bushland and parkland resources, and to enhance visitor services, education and conservation.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Institute for Science and Technology Policy
School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Greening Australia
Copyright: © 1994 Greening Australia Limited
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