Copy of release as sent out by Premier of South Australia/Zoos SA
Another state-of-the-art tourist attraction is on South Australia’ doorstep with Monarto Safari Park’s new Visitor Centre soon to open.
The Visitor Centre – made possible by $4.5 million from the Marshall Liberal Government – is due to open in March and has already created 136 jobs through construction, with another 89 ongoing positions created for the region.
The Visitor Centre is the first of three major milestones for Monarto Safari Park with phases two and three seeing the completion of a $40m hotel late this year and a safari experience for guests in the Wild Africa precinct.
Premier Steven Marshall today toured the soon to be completed Visitor Centre with Elaine Bensted, CE of Zoos SA, looking at the progress so far.
“There is no doubt about it – this new Visitor Centre is going to be a game-changer for our tourism offerings here in South Australia and most importantly, for the Murray Bridge area,” Premier Marshall said.
“With international borders opening soon, the timing of this Visitor Centre is perfect, in fact – the new site will have the capacity to allow an additional 55,000 people to experience Monarto Safari Park every single year.
“That means more investment for the local region, our state and more jobs as a result,” Premier Marshall said.
Elaine Bensted, CE of Zoos SA, said she was excited for the Centre to open and attract new, and familiar visitors.
“When it opens in late March, the Visitor Centre will provide a fantastic welcome to our members and visitors and has the capacity to allow an additional 55,000 people per year as well as expanding educational offerings for school-aged and tertiary students within South Australia to visit Monarto Safari Park” Ms Bensted said.
“Benefits for the region include a growth of jobs with the building of the centre creating 136 jobs and 89 ongoing positions for the region. Additionally, the development of the Visitor Centre, the onsite accommodation by private investor Gerry Ryan and the Wild Africa safari experience will bring more visitors to the Murraylands region, making it an extremely valuable and job creating project.
“The architecturally designed building, by local architectural firms Intro and studio-gram, includes an indoor and outdoor café, nature play spaces, retail and plenty of parking as well as a fantastic view across Monarto’s plains.
“The Centre is the launch pad for a day exploring our site, connecting with nature, learning about endangered animals, future proofing our planet and ensuring species’ survival.
“We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received,” Ms Bensted said.
The Visitor Centre project received $11.25m of funding from the Australian Government and $4.55m from the State Government towards a total $16.8m cost of building the new entry and Visitor Centre. The Rural City of Murray Bridge also contributed to the project through the construction of a new slip lane entry from Monarto Road.
“The Monarto Safari Park Visitor Centre is a world class destination in South Australia, one that connects people with wildlife, and a facility that is instrumental to the research and conservation of our world’s species,” Aaron Mossop from Mossop Construction + Interiors said.
“Our team have been passionate about these important objectives since inception and now that the project is nearing completion, we are looking forward to seeing the community enjoying the fantastic new facilities and interacting with wildlife,” said Aaron.
Intro Director, Terry Boxall, believes that the design, in collaboration with Studio Gram, represents the connection of people to the environment through education and history.“The design reflects an understanding that conservation starts with a humanity that has an appreciation of nature. It was important to us to create a memorable transitional experience from Australia to Africa where each visitor leaves with greater knowledge, and as an ambassador of Monarto Safari Park.”
Key stats of the build so far:
- Local involvement, labour employed directly by MCI from Murray Bridge, local catering business servicing site.
- Average 50 people per on site per day
- Over 50,000 worker hours onsite
- 28,000m2 carpark
- Over 1500 m2 of Corten wall cladding
- 2500m2 of roofing