Is this a battle of the Zoo’s?

A new, supercharged Taronga Zoo is on the cards, with a $16 million revamp announced for one of its most popular native animal enclosures, paving the way for a conservation and tourism boost.

Plans for extensions to the kangaroo and wallaby “walk-through experience”, underwater viewing of its platypus residents and improvements to the nocturnal exhibition were this week approved by Planning Minister Rob Stokes.

“Taronga Zoo is one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations and this revamp will place greater emphasis on some of our nation’s most iconic animals,” Mr Stokes said.

“This development will inject $16 million into the State’s economy and create more than 800 construction jobs while helping to make Taronga Zoo a more attractive tourist destination.”

Taronga Zoo submitted the development application less than a year after Sydney Zoo opened its doors in December 2019.

That facility, located 33km west of the CBD near Blacktown, has been poaching visitors who until then had only one option.

Member for North Shore Felicity Wilson said the zoo is one of the most popular public spaces in NSW and this funding is great news for the local community and visitors alike.

“Our community is so proud to have Taronga Zoo in our local area and a revitalised Australia Precinct means greater focus on giving visitors the opportunity to interact with animals that are unique to Australia,” Ms Wilson said.

Works on the precinct upgrade are set to kick-off in the coming months, with the project expected to be completed by 2023.