Community open days will be held at the new Mon Repos Turtle Centre on 24 November and 8 December to thank Bundaberg Region people for their turtle conservation efforts.
The announcement was made when Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch visited the new centre today.
Ms Enoch said Mon Repos Beach is home to the largest population of nesting loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific and the centre will play a crucial part in the survival of this endangered turtle.
“The centre will offer a year-round state-of-the-art experience, with touch screen televisions, vivid displays, an immersive theatre room and interpretive signage,” she said.
“This redevelopment now provides a contemporary ecotourism experience that allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in marine turtle research and conservation.
“The design of the centre was carefully considered to ensure the building is ecologically sustainable, long-lasting and had minimal impact on the surrounding environment.”
Ms Enoch said the new building is located behind sand dunes, which provide a natural light shield between the building and the beach to reduce light spill which can disorientate turtle hatchlings.
Construction on the new Mon Repos Turtle Centre was completed just in time for the start of nightly turtle encounter tours on Saturday.
Turtle Encounter tickets are on sale now. Ticket bookings close at 4pm each night for that night's tour.
Visitors are advised that this year, due to the redevelopment of the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, to enter the centre safely a shuttle bus transfer will collect people from just outside the centre grounds at the Mon Repos Road car park from 6.30pm onwards, with the Turtle Centre opening at 7pm. This is included in the ticket price.
People are encouraged to book in advance as tours can sell out.
Earlier this year, Murchie Constructions said materials for the project were sourced locally.
“The glue laminated timber structure is locally grown, certified Spotted Gum. The structure is known as a ‘diagrid' (a framework of diagonally intersecting metal, concrete or wooden beams that is used in the construction of buildings and roofs) and is believed to be the largest diagrid in Australia,” the company said.
“A diagrid presents an innovative resistance against cyclonic conditions. Spotted Gum was chosen for its durability, strength, density and appearance to suit the corrosive, coastal environment.
“All the timber beams were manufactured by Hyne Timber at their GLT Plant in Maryborough.”
Bundaberg Regional Council delivered essential infrastructure for the facility.
Council supplied the site with water services and built a new sewer pump station as part of its $1.5 million contribution.