Access To Camping Areas Stopped.

Submitted: Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 16:27
ThreadID: 109843 Views:4369 Replies:4 FollowUps:12
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Hi all,

Budget cut backs to Parks Victoria has caused access to Ulupna Islands magnificent camping areas to be closed indefinitely.

Ulupna Island situated on the Murray River in northern Victoria is a favourite destination for thousands of campers who for now will have to seek other spots for Xmas, Easter 2015 and maybe for longer.

I for one are totally jacked off at such action, I can just hear the pollies, if we have a private resort built there we would then have the funds for proper access tracks.

This is not good enough, boy am I peeved.

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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 17:07

Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 17:07
A Parks Victoria spokeswoman said two tracks were closed two weeks ago because of damage caused by heavy rain.

She said staff were assessing the need for repairs as a safety precaution before a decision to reopen the tracks could be made.

From Parks Victoria Website...

The following areas on Ulupna Island are closed: Ulupna, Lagoon and Faraway Beaches in the Barmah National Park section of the island; Breens, Forest and Lang Beaches in the River Murray Reserve section of the island. at Barmah National Park

Some roads, tracks and visitor sites in Barmah National Park and adjoining River Murray Reserves are closed until further notice due to flooding and track conditions. Tracks that are open and accessible include: Gulf Track; Sand Ridge Track; River Road; Trickeys Lane; Newman’s Track (4WD only); Darlows Track (4WD only); Tongalong Track; Suttons Track (4WD only); and Mannions Track. at Barmah National Park

Some roads, tracks and visitor sites in Barmah National Park and adjoining River Murray Reserves are closed until further notice due to flooding and track conditions. Visitor destinations that are open and accessible include: Barmah Lakes camping and day visitor area; Dharnya Centre picnic area; Gulf camping ground; The Ranch, South of the Barmah township; Barmah Island (small section along River Road entering from Rices Bridge and small section along River Road entering from McCann Road); and on Ulupna Island - Carters Beach, Labbetts Beach, Doctors Bend and Pump Beach (4WD only). at Barmah National Park

Good weekend to all, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 540497

Follow Up By: Happy Frank - Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 19:26

Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 19:26
It seems cost recovery is the mantra of ParksVic now, the rent for the Shearers Hut in Murray Sunset National Park recently went from $60 per night to $374 per night, I fear it will now remain unused and fall into disrepair quickly.
FollowupID: 826367

Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 23:22

Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 23:22
Yes it would seem cost recovery. About time.
Expensive but worth it.
FollowupID: 826378

Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 10:43

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 10:43
At 375 a night one rule for the rich the rest can just piss off eh? Seem to remember it being tried before in history, didn't work out to well then either, perhaps the government should tell all the people who are struggling to afford things to "just let them eat cake" that should keep the little beggars happy.
FollowupID: 826385

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 13:22

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 13:22
Hi KBad and Frank,

Re $375 a night

This looks like the same thing that happened at Kunderang in the upper reaches of the Macleay River in NSW not too far from Armidale, a few years ago.

National Parks acquired the property and spent a small fortune doing up the old homestead and closed the road into it apparently.
Then state ministers and National Parks hierarchy flew in by helicopter.

A neighbour who used to go up there on occasions before it became a national park got wind of what was going on and complained bitterly and the next thing we knew it was being let to the public albeit at an elevated fee.

Just checked it out and it is $1100 for 4 nights Sunday through to Wednesday in Jan 2015. That is $275 a night.

Mind you it can sleep 10 people not that I would like a crowd like that.

Kunderang Homestead

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 14:04

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 14:04
Amazing difference to the claims made by the original post and the actual facts as released by Parks Vic.

Clearly the original poster didn't bother checking the facts before posting.

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FollowupID: 826393

Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 14:16

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 14:16
The point that you may want to consider is it appears in some places to be very easy to close it down yet take a very long time to reopen. Take Wrights Bridge in WA damaged by fire in 2009 still closed end of 2013 and as far as i know still shut now. The point could be made that some damage to areas can be seen to be used as an excuse to just close areas off. We have another campground in Jarrahdale that this has happened to in fact i just signed a petition started by locals to try and get it reopened. Always pays to keep an eye on things.
FollowupID: 826394

Follow Up By: adriang - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 19:09

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 19:09
Hi Bruce,
Glad you bought up East Kunderang Station. A group, of us, 5 couples, had 3 nights there last year, cost us $960 for the 3 nights which is $64 per night per couple.
Unbelievably cheap for the quality of the accommodation and a fantastic place. We had an absolute ball and will be going back again soon.
It is a place to be shared with others and it can actually sleep 14.
FollowupID: 826397

Follow Up By: noggins - Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 11:48

Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 11:48
Wrights Bridge is re-opened as of about 2 weeks ago.
New toilet block and cleaned up area.
Honesty box for fees, usual thing .
We were in Balingup and got the news from a couple that were shifting there Sat'dy.
FollowupID: 826419

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 20:06

Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 20:06
East Kunderang Station. An Armidale based National Parks ranger told me that the cost of doing up the kitchen at that homestead (Aussie red cedar in keeping with the original), cost more than his Armidale house.
Our neighbours keep raving about the great family times they have there, they were there again recently
It takes 2 hours to get there from Armidale, so maintenance & cleaning costs would not be cheap for National parks and they have done a great job of maintaining a bit of early 20th century Pastoral History.
IF you want something cheaper but just as good an experience, you can bush camp at the nearby West Kunderang Private station, further up river at Riverside or down river at Georges Junction.

National Parks actually restored and opened up access to four old cattlemen's huts in the Oxley Wild Rivers NP by creating the 4 day Green Gully Walk. From memory it costs $80 per person, we would never had access without these fees, and the walk is booked out months ahead. Deficiently not unused and falling into disrepair.
When access is too easy or too cheap I've seen these type of places destroyed by yahoos.
FollowupID: 826464

Follow Up By: Hilux fan - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:07

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:07
Full cost recovery is not just a policy for Parks Vic but for all Vic government departments. This includes things for which they have a complete monopoly (eg certain licences and permits). For example, for some of our fauna monitoring stuff I am involved in, I have to get an animal ethics committee approval from the DEPI committee. Previously, this cost $65 for a 3 year permit. The next one will cost us $575, and we're getting it cheap because it's for a non-profit volunteer organisation!

Parks Vic have recently had their total budget cut by 25%. Our local National Park has a pest and weed control budget for next year of zero dollars!
FollowupID: 826537

Reply By: Happy Frank - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 19:50

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 19:50
If we can go back to the Shearers Hut in Murray Sunset, we have been using it for around 12 yrs, it can sleep 12 or so. When we started going there there was nothing provided in terms of cooking/eating type gear. Over the years the regular users have donated a BBQ, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery, lights, candles and other amenities. We have on every trip done small repairs, pumped water to the overhead tank, and cleaned the whole place. I do fear that if it is not used as often it will deteriorate quickly and become unusable, the massive increase in price cannot be justified in any way, but such is life, we will still go out there camping, but we have taken interstate and international visitors out there regularly but won't continue as some of these people won't camp.
AnswerID: 540517

Reply By: 19738662 - Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 15:08

Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 15:08
Hi Colanjen, I too am concerned but have you just been there or are you posting from something you have read or been told? There was an article on Ulupna on & comments from local trader(s) were also posted. The Parks Officers are stationed at Nathalia & patrol Ulupna on a regular basis. Maybe a phone call to their office may establish some facts!! IF the tracks are damaged by flood or heavy rain,why not close them off & give them time to dry out!! Intelligent people will not drive on boggy tracks causing damage the minority do so & therefore their actions reflects on all of us.
AnswerID: 540552

Follow Up By: colanjen - Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 15:52

Sunday, Oct 19, 2014 at 15:52
Before posting I rang Parks Victoria Information and was put through to the Nathalia Office.

There was no one answering the phones so I left a message seeking clarification on reports I'd heard.

Some hours later I was rang from Parks Vic in Euchca and it was confirmed that all camping in the Barhma National Park on the Island left of the main track to Carters Beach plus all beaches and camp spots beyond Pump Beach are closed indefinitely.

This is due to three things, flooding due to the height of the river, localised heavy rain some weeks ago which has effected tracks. This happens most years but the main thing now that has caused the problem is that funds have been cut and they now cannot repair the damage because of this.

I was phoned again later by the Nathalia office and this was confirmed in as many words. They have to be careful what they say but I was left in no doubt that that is what has caused the problem.

Yes some cars and 4wds would get through but unless they can guarantee access to the fire brigade, ambulances and emergency people if required then they must close it off. If the funds don't come through repairs will not be carried out and it could be closed for well into next year or beyond.

So before posting I rang and or spoke to three separate people. Local businesses are extremely concerned about what has happened as are all those who camp on the island.

FollowupID: 826444

Reply By: Mick T3 - Monday, Oct 20, 2014 at 11:30

Monday, Oct 20, 2014 at 11:30
None of this surprises me. Lack of funding is a cover story disguising the process underway of making increasing areas of Australia out-of-bounds for its citizens.

Instead of camping freely on our country they want us labelled, barcoded and paying high rates to be packed like sardines in slum-style caravan parks.

Surveillance and control is the name of their game. These controllers are the enemy and steal from us daily.
AnswerID: 540581

Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Oct 20, 2014 at 11:41

Monday, Oct 20, 2014 at 11:41
What it is saying is National Parks don’t have the funding available to fix the area presently. It has nothing to do with getting people into caravan parks.

But we live in a user pays society, there is no such thing as free camping, it costs someone – and National Parks are saying they’ve run out for now!

But what this does highlight is a point I often make, don’t rely on any government body to pay or make funding available for tourism infrastructure – they have a poor record on it.

Cheers, Baz, The Landy
FollowupID: 826494

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