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Improvements at Lake St Clair


Tourism infrastructure at Lake St Clair has received a boost with the recent completion of a new footbridge at Watersmeet.

Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage Ken Bacon said today the new bridge is a significant part of the infrastructure at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, positioned one kilometre from the visitor centre along the park's busiest walking track.

"The new Watersmeet bridge is an important link to the day and overnight walks at Lake St Clair and is a destination in its own right for short term visitors," Mr Bacon said.

"It also links the day walks and Lake St Clair visitor centre with the Lakeside track, the Overland Track, the Platypus Bay track and Cuvier Valley track."

The cost of the bridge was approximately $125,000 and funding was provided by the State Government's Economic and Social Infrastructure Fund (ESIF), which has funded a range of infrastructure projects in parks and reserves.

Mr Bacon said the new bridge is entirely Tasmanian designed and constructed.

"The new 40 metre long steel bridge replaces an old timber bridge which no longer met modern standards.

"Because of its location, the construction of the bridge presented some engineering challenges. It was constructed in various lengths and these were lifted into place using a specially constructed flying fox over the river."

Lake St Clair is at the southern end of the world-famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Mr Bacon said the whole park has been well prepared for the holiday season with six additional staff and a range of improvements to facilities at the Cradle Mountain end.

Also, the Cradle Information Centre has a new look, following recent changes to the facility at the former airstrip.

"Since the introduction of the Cradle shuttle service, the Information Centre at the former airstrip has become the hub of arrival for visitors to Cradle Mountain," said Mr Bacon.

"The renovations at the information centre were aimed at improving customer service and enhancing the safety of pedestrians."

The layout of the building has been changed to improve the flow of people through the car parks and the centre.

A large new deck also provides more space for people outside the Information Centre with the bonus of views to Cradle Mountain when the weather permits.

The popular Cradle shuttle service is operating every day and there will be up to seven shuttle buses in order the meet the expected demand.

Although many of the improvements are aimed at day visitors, who often don't venture further than Dove Lake, facilities for bushwalkers are being improved with the construction of a new toilet at Kitchen Hut, which is an existing emergency shelter south of Dove Lake on the Overland Track.

This facility is expected to be complete shortly.

This initiative is part of the State Government's commitment to progressing Tasmania Together Goal 21 - Value, protect and conserve our natural and cultural heritage.