Major upgrades to Lithgow’s Secret Creek Sanctuary are forging ahead with construction of a visionary wildlife hospital and cultural visitor centre starting to take shape.
The project is being followed closely by Member for Bathurst Paul Toole who has been a keen advocate of the $1.3 million development and its potential as a major tourism drawcard for the area.
Secret Creek Sanctuary had humbled beginnings back in 2001 but has since evolved into a safe haven for local wildlife and endangered species alike.
Mr Toole stopped past Secret Creek on a recent visit to the Lithgow region and was impressed with the progress being made on the site which also includes the addition of walking tracks around the sanctuary and into neighbouring nature reserves.
“The Wildlife Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre will serve the Blue Mountains and Central West region, which are surrounded by six NSW National Parks providing habitat to a variety of endangered and rare species requiring support in times of natural disasters,” Mr Toole said.
“The need for a wildlife hospital and rehabilitation centre were highlighted following the devastating 2019/20 bushfires in which many animals were killed or displaced and in need of care to replenish numbers.”
The Secret Creek Sanctuary Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre will also cater for staff accommodation and meeting space.
“The Cultural & Visitor Centre will become the new welcoming entry into the Secret Creek Sanctuary and currently the slab has been installed,” Mr Toole said.
A cultural arts centre will be located on the second floor of the visitor centre in collaboration with local Indigenous group One Mob to serve multiple uses including a gathering space for Aboriginal culture education groups, learning space for wildlife and ecosystems and a health and wellbeing community centre for the local community.
Mr Toole said you only have to look at the progress being made on the development to realise it’s going to be something special.
“It’s impressive to say the least. The transformation of this wildlife retreat and tourist attraction is really taking shape,” Mr Toole said.
“The visitor centre and recently completed walking trails will make Secret Creek Sanctuary more accessible and educational with the visitor centre also acting as a wildlife and environmental education classroom plus an events space for the local community.
Secret Creek Sanctuary owner Trevor Evans said you can start to see what this visionary project to look like. “When the work is finished people are going to be impressed with the bigger and better sanctuary,” he said.