FOUR councils in the Lyons electorate are among 11 sites nationally to receive Federal Government funding for a national whale trail.

Tourists, locals and whale watchers generally in Lyons will be given a better view and understanding of migrating whales as they travel along Tasmania’s East Coast, thanks to nearly $93,000 from the Federal Government’s $250,000 National Whale Trail initiative.

Break O’Day, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Sorell and Tasman Councils will receive between $22,400 and $25,000 each to develop their sections of the national whale trail.

Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson said that the innovative funding program would help increase tourism along Tasmania’s East Coast with visitors coming to see the gentle giants of the sea on their annual journeys to and from the Antarctic.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said that Australians loved marine wildlife so that there was a genuine demand for land-based vantage points along the coastline to view these magnificent migrating whales.

“The national whale trail initiative will not only help increase tourism in Lyons, it will also promote understanding in the community about the importance of protecting whales and dolphins which are such a feature of coastal life,” Mr Hunt said.

Glamorgan Spring Bay and Break O’Day Councils will use their funding to provide interpretive and educational information at a chain of viewing locations where whales are seen.

Each site will include common information about whales and water viewing guidelines as well as species diversity information, migration, conservation and history and heritage.

Tasman Council will spend $20,400 designing and constructing a whale viewing platform at Eaglehawk Neck to take advantage of the uninterrupted views out onto the Tasman Sea.

Sorell Council will use its $25,000 to also construct a timber observation deck with a path connecting to Parnella Road. An area of significant erosion resulting from uncontrolled headland access will be revegetated.

The National Whale Trail is part of a $2 million investment over three years by the Federal Government under its whale and dolphin protection plan.

For more information about the plan, go to www.nrm.gov.au
Federal Lyons MHR Eric Hutchinson