THE NSW Government last week said that Western Sydney is set to be the future home of the most exciting private zoo in Australia with planning approval now in place to build the 16.5-hectare facility at Bungarribee Park in Western Sydney Parklands.
The proposed zoo, which is located on a site off the Great Western Highway and approximately 40 kilometres west of the Sydney's CBD, would host a collection of native and exotic species within themed, safari-like exhibits corresponding to the species' habitat of origin.
At an estimated capital cost of $28 million, the zoo proposal includes bulk earthworks and the importation of 4,500 cubic metres of fill to shape the site, the construction of an animal show arena and a restaurant, formal and informal parking for 1,035 cars, as well as curatorial, veterinary, quarantine and other support services.
Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres and Minister for Environment Gabrielle Upton said Sydney Zoo will offer an unparalleled tourism experience with more than 30 large animal exhibits accessible through immersive, safari-like enclosures and elevated boardwalks.
"Sydney Zoo will set a new standard in visitor experience and have people coming back time and time again. Set to be Australia's most technologically advanced and innovative zoo in Australia, it will also feature an incredible integrated Aboriginal and natural heritage program, focusing on the local Darug people of Western Sydney," Mr Ayres said.
In approving the application, the Planning Assessment Commission said the proposal corresponds to the NSW Government's objectives for the Western Parklands and for Western Sydney, and provides employment and tourism opportunities in the area.
Construction is scheduled to commence later this year, with the facility due to open before the 2018-19 summer school holidays.