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September 12, 2008

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo is excited to announce the next phase of the Zoo's 12 year master plan which will see approximately $21.5m spent redeveloping a number of areas of the site over the coming four years.

Four key projects have been highlighted to commence construction within the next year including the Obley Rd entrance and visitor precinct, a recreation and visitor area opposite the Streets Milk Bar as well as a fantastic new children's playground area.

Numerous exhibit upgrades, construction and redevelopment are also scheduled to be carried out within the next year for African Wild Dogs, White Rhinos and Siamang Apes as well as an additional off display multi purpose breeding facility to be home to the Zoo's Tasmanian Devil insurance population.  Off exhibit holding facilities at Giraffe, Eland and African Wild Dog will also be redeveloped during the year.

"This is a very exciting time for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, one which will see the Zoo move forward into the future and allow us to better showcase our wonderful animals and achievements," said General Manager, Matt Fuller.

"The redevelopment of the front entrance and visitor precinct will revitalise a 30 year old building, allow us to better manage parking and traffic and improve access to the lake foreshore," said Mr Fuller.

The new precinct will set the scene for the discovery and exploration of the Zoo and its animals and act as an information hub, showcasing the Zoo's role in Australian and international conservation.  By 2010 the local community will be able to gain free access to the new visitor precinct and children's playground area, which will be open the community providing new opportunities for lakeside picnics, themed events, exciting play, animal discovery and a relaxing meal and drink on the lakefront.

"The redevelopment plans have been designed in line with feedback the Zoo received about providing greater accessibility to the Zoo.  We are very excited about having an area that will be freely accessible to the local community, and will provide something totally unique for Dubbo residents," said Mr Fuller.

"The redevelopment plans for the next four years will see the largest amount of capital funding spent in such a short period of time in the Zoo's history," said Mr Fuller.

A development application is currently with Dubbo City Council and pending approval the Zoo will be tendering for staged works with the aim to commence construction prior to the end of the year on a number of the projects.

For more information contact Media Relations:

Ph: +61 2 6881 1413
Fax: +61 2 6884 1722
Email: wpz@zoo.nsw.gov.au

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