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Parks & Wildlife


The FORESTRY DEPARTMENT established a branch in Walpole in 1951. This department was the forerunner to The Parks and Wildlife Service (a division of the State Government Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions) which continues to play a major role in the development and protection of the community.

John Rate cutting sleepers

The Forestry Department was established in Walpole in 1951. It started to set up buildings and plant at the #3 School and shifted to a site (Swan Street/Main road) in 1952 for use by Forestry Department staff and visitors.

John Rate was appointed Resident Forestry Officer and Honorary Ranger in 1951. He replaced part-time Ranger Tom Swarbrick Snr (appointed in 1927).

Forestry Department houses were built in Park Street in 1959 and in Boronia Avenue across the road from the (then) new hotel in 1964. The Hotel power plant provided electricity to the Forestry houses.

Forestry employee Lionel Gunson came to Walpole in 1954 and was later appointed Forestry’s first full-time Ranger (1962-86). He established Coalmine Caravan Park (no water/electricity) with wife Dot.

Marine Parks boat blessed
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  • WNDHS Curator of IT, Media
  •   Last revision: 31 May 2023