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Granite Way Geopark Research Project, Western Australia

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Establishing a Geopark from the Ground Up by Alan Briggs, Murdoch University

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Granite Way Geopark Research Project, Western Australia

  1. 1. Granite Way Geopark Research Project
  2. 2. Outline • Feedback on progress with research (locally and Internationally) • Findings from forums • Identification of stakeholders and areas of interest • Where to from here
  3. 3. Stakeholder Perceptions of Establishing a Geopark in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia • A Murdoch University PhD research task • Partnering with Wheatbelt Development Commission and Avongro • Researching the perceptions of the community • Geopark as the vehicle • Identifying real tourism potential under the following structure: • Geological heritage/Flora/Fauna/Exploration (Pioneers)/Modern land use Pastoral/Cropping/Mining/Tourism
  4. 4. Case Studies Gunduwa Granite Way Geopark (Aspiring) Porongurup NP
  5. 5. Case Studies - Central Wheatbelt • is the main focus
  6. 6. Porongurup (National Park) • Providing a different perspective
  7. 7. Gunduwa Conservation Region • Pastoral, mining, sheep and wheat • Very interesting landform • High level of engagement with NGOs
  8. 8. Research Progress - International • Much research has centred on post- Geopark establishment • Fanwei (2014) found local communities felt their livelihoods were threatened - couldn’t collect from the forest, clear land, lost access • Other community members found Geoparks and associated tourism was good for business • Findings indicate much more community engagement is required
  9. 9. Research Locally (Western Australia) • Rural regions are in decline through modernisation and centralisation • Tourism is seen as not a panacea but a contributor for employment, social restructuring (sports, volunteerism, social clubs)
  10. 10. Crossroads
  11. 11. Make the Most of It …
  12. 12. Stakeholders in Geoparks in the Wheatbelt • Aboriginal communities • Community – retirees, un- and under employed, non-working (by choice) • Business – accommodation, retail, services (food, fuel, etc), • Local Government – becoming main stakeholders • State Government – To be addressed • Non-government – from conservation to humanities
  13. 13. Community Reaction so far … • Very positive support from Local Government Authorities • Forum (Community) attendees • Business engagement
  14. 14. Next • Follow up online survey • https://www.surveymonkey.net/summary/o6aOhuob7O9VBT3DPP10o0fiOLabgYeBURfwWwP3siQ_3D • Arrange and conduct interviews • Next forum round - March 2016 • Report to Wheatbelt Development Commission • Thesis … my supervisors say … get writing!
  15. 15. Thank you • A.briggs@Murdoch.edu.au • alanbriggsnhc@dodo.com.au • Watch this space …..

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