Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Kate Jones MP

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability

Ministers officially open major upgrade to facilities at Lake McKenzie

Joint media release
23 September 2010

A multi-million dollar upgrade of visitor facilities at Fraser Island's popular Lake McKenzie has been completed in time for school holidays.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and Queensland Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones today travelled to the island to officially open the new facilities at the lake.

The Federal Government has invested $1.8 million towards the project, with the Bligh Government delivering the remaining $1.6 million.

Mr Burke said that the project would encourage tourism on the island while protecting the unique qualities of Lake McKenzie.

"The Labor Government provided $1.8 million as part of the Government's $60 million investment in heritage conservation, part of the Jobs Fund," he said.

"It makes sense to support our unique heritage places, the Government's investment will ensure ongoing protection of one of Australia's special places."

Ms Jones said the project provided top-quality facilities and ensured sustainable visitor use of the iconic destination.

"Lake McKenzie is Fraser Island's jewel in the crown and is enjoyed by visitors from around Australia and the world," Ms Jones said.

"Most of Fraser's 400,000 visitors each year spend time at this wonderful landmark, and this heavy use has 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.

"This is great for tourism on the island and great news for the Hervey Bay economy.

"This important project is the direct result of the Bligh Government working with the Federal Labor Government to ensure this beautiful holiday spot is protected and the necessary facilities are available for visitors."

The new eco-friendly, modern facilities include:

  • new vehicle access routes with vehicle barriers
  • redesigned and increased car parking capacity
  • upgraded pedestrian access to the beach
  • custom designed walkways providing access for people with walking impairments
  • three new amenities blocks and a solar-powered 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
  • extensive site revegetation

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

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

"The redevelopment has not only created a new sustainable visitor precinct, but during works it also delivered valuable employment opportunities including work for consultants, temporary rangers, traffic controllers, workers employed by Conservation Volunteers Australia and cultural heritage assessors.

"Our government will continue to work with all levels of government, as well as local tour operators, traditional owners and conservation groups, to ensure this special part of Fraser Island continues to be managed in a safe and sustainable way."

Ms Jones thanked the public and commercial operators for their understanding during construction of the major project.