Fraser facelift unveiled

IN HIS first action as Julia's Gillard's environment minister, Tony Burke officially opened the new $3.4 million facilities at Lake McKenzie during his first visit to Fraser Island yesterday.

State Sustainability Minister Kate Jones and Butchulla elder Aunty Joyce Smith helped Mr Burke cut the ribbon to unveil an information sign that was part of the project.

The new eco-friendly modern facilities included new vehicle access routes with vehicle barriers, redesigned and increased car parking capacity, upgraded pedestrian access to the beach, custom-designed walkways for wheelchair users, three new amenities blocks and a solar-power waste treatment facility, three viewing platforms and wheelchair-friendly seating in the three day-use eating areas, improved signage, including information about the living cultural heritage developed in partnership with the Butchulla community and extensive site revegetation.

Among the new signs was one barring food and drinks, other than water, being taken to the lake so there were no scents or flavours to attract dingoes to the lake.

Mr Burke said the new facilities would not only help people enjoy the lake but also respect and protect the lake for future generations.

“It makes sense to support our unique heritage places; the government's investment will ensure ongoing protection of one of Australia's special places,” he said.

Ms Jones said most of Fraser's 400,000 visitors each year spent time at the landmark and the heavy use had taken its toll.

“That's why we have delivered this major upgrade to help protect the lake's famous crystal clear water and enhance people's experience,” she said.

Ms Jones said permanent sediment traps and the relocation of the car park and access road aimed to protect the lake from sediment and other potential traffic impacts.

“I am pleased that the redevelopment works have been completed on time, so that these new first-class facilities are available in time for the school holidays,” she said.

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