Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Namadgi recovery widens for visitors

Canberrans are being welcomed back to around two thirds of the Territory’s fire-ravaged Namadgi National Park, however the Visitor Information Centre and other areas remain closed as recovery work continues. 

Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentleman today provided an update on the significant works being undertaken to make Namadgi safe for visitors.

“I’m pleased to welcome visitors back to the Corin and Naas/Boboyan Road precincts, along with some of my favourite areas of the park including Gibraltar Falls, Corin Dam, Settlers Walking Track, and Square Rock,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Campers will be happy to know that both the Woods Reserve and Mt Clear campgrounds have also been re-opened and are taking online bookings. Dedicated camper trailer spaces are now available at Woods Reserve for the growing demand for this type of recreational camping.”

He said while many parts of Namadgi were now accessible, visitors should be aware that areas may still be fire-impacted.

“When setting out to explore the park, take proper precautions, plan your visit carefully and let someone know where you intend to go,” the Minister said.

He said it had been a long road to recovery for the park following the Orroral Valley bushfire, which burnt more than 80% of Namadgi, 22% of Tidbinbilla and 3,350 hectares of rural lands.

“The ACT Government has effectively responded to the most immediate threats to our natural and cultural landscape. Our Rapid Response Progress Update outlines actions undertaken so far in response to bushfires and flooding in Namadgi and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve,” said Mr Gentleman.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly to assess and address significant impacts to wildlife and ecosystems, heritage, hillslope erosion, ACT water catchments and community safety.”

The work undertaken to date includes:

  • addressing the incursion of feral animals and invasive weeds post fire;
  • establishing a feral deer monitoring program within the Cotter Catchment;
  • clearing fire impacted trees from public roads and walking tracks;
  • undertaking detailed post-fire condition assessments of walking tracks and management roads;
  • undertaking stabilisation works to reduce sediment in waterways;
  • completing threatened species surveys;
  • protecting threatened ecological communities such as Alpine Bogs and Fens;
  • conducting heritage assessments.

“Work is also underway to restore walking tracks and roads across Namadgi,” Mr Gentleman said.

“The Namadgi team has taken advantage of the closures, undertaking an ambitious spruce up of Woods Reserve campground, with infrastructure improvements, weed and erosion control, ecological restoration and fire mitigation works designed to lessen the impact of any future bushfire on this much loved campground.

“Honeysuckle, Orroral Valley and Bimberi Wilderness Area remain closed as major works are required to restore public access roads, walking trails, low-level crossings and fire trails.”

He said Old Boboyan Road also remained closed to allow for works at Yankee Hat to protect the rock art site.

“This also mean that visitors will not be able to access to the Gudgenby Valley and Ready Cut Cottage until further notice.”

“The green shoots of recovery that can be seen across the burnt area are a reminder that our landscape is resilient. This work has set us on a strong path towards recovery and I know that in time we will see the impacted areas thrive once again.”

For more information on bushfire recovery efforts and the plan to reopen Namadgi, visit www.environment.act.gov.au/Namadgi-National-Park

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