The Margaret River-Busselton Tourism Association is poised to take over management of the land hosting Eagles Heritage raptor park, once the WA Government signs off on the deal. MRBTA chief executive Sharna Kearney was at last week’s Shire of Augusta-Margaret River council meeting alongside Phil Pain, who established the popular attraction more than 35 years ago. Ms Kearney outlined the tourism association’s plan to invest further in the site they acquired in 2021 and turn it into the country’s leading conservation centre for hunting birds. Shire councillors voted unanimously for the local government to surrender its management order for the reserve, which requires ministerial approval, with a peppercorn lease currently in place. A new vesting would give MRBTA the surety needed for ongoing investment as well as maintenance of the site, Ms Kearney said. “The ongoing need for capital investment is in parallel to the maintenance, conservation and risk management required, including fire load management, tree safety inspections, etc.,” she said. “An increase in the number of birds receiving rehabilitation for release has also created greater staffing and food costs. “It has become abundantly clear that Eagles Heritage is unlikely to break even in its operations in the short or medium term.” Mr Pain lauded MRBTA’s stewardship of the site, which was echoed in comments from elected members.