Riverina red gums economic report

In 2009, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water commissioned the Centre for Agricultural and Regional Economics (CARE) to prepare a report examining the regional economic impacts of national parks in the Riverina.

The report was prepared to help the Natural Resources Commission in its forests assessment for the river red gum forests of the Riverina bioregion.

The report examined the contribution of national parks to the regional economy through the management of the reserves and the visitation they attract. As part of the report, CARE looked at the potential benefits to the regional economy of the creation of new river red gum national parks.

Summary of findings

On the basis of projected park management expenditure, visitor numbers and estimated tourist expenditure provided by the Department, the report concluded that the creation of new river red gum national parks would add about 50 per cent to current park management expenditure, with a combined impact on gross regional product of $17.1 million and approximately 200 jobs. This represents approximately 0.5 per cent of the economy of the Riverina.

The report did not attempt to value the non-economic benefits that would derive from the creation of new national parks, such as the protection of biodiversity and cultural heritage.