New plan proposes more campsites for Grampians

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Grampians national park
The Grampians landscape is stunning. PIC: Visit Grampians

Victoria’s parks authority has published a draft plan looking at the best way to manage the iconic Grampians National Park going into the future.

The spectacular sandstone mountain range consists of woodlands and rocky outcrops that stretch across 167,000 hectares of western Victoria and attracts more than one million visitors every year.

The draft plan sets out a framework for managing pressures from visitors, and suggests the creation of more designated campsites. It also looks at how to cope with other threats to the landscape such as weed invasion, over-grazing, ‘inappropriate fire regimes’, and water use.

The draft suggests the introduction of management overlays to minimise noise and light pollution, and aims to restore locally extinct wildlife, including dingoes.

Parks Victoria regional director Jason Borg said the draft land management plan – the first to cover the Grampians since 2003 – was an attempt to ‘celebrate and protect this heritage-protected landscape’.

“It’s changing the way that we look at the landscape,” Mr Borg said. “Wanting to ensure protection of both cultural values and natural values, but then also looking at opportunities for how people use Gariwerd or the Grampians.”

Another change mooted is the permanent banning of climbing in many spots.  Parks Victoria has listed 66 sites that it deems are ‘incompatible with climbing’, including the south side of a cliff known as Bundaleer, which is world-renowned for elite climbers. It has, however, listed the north side of the cliff as one of 89 “designated climbing areas”.

The region is home to some of Australia’s most recognised rock faces and has attracted climbers from around the world for decades, but climbing has been banned at key sections of the park since 2019, after concerns were raised around the threat to cultural heritage. The Grampians contains the largest concentration of Indigenous rock art in Victoria.

Parks Victoria said it would conduct community consultation sessions over its draft plan later in the year, and accept feedback until January 24, 2021.

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One Response to New plan proposes more campsites for Grampians

  1. It’s clear that most park management authorities have not kept up with demand for more camping facilities. Their online booking systems are a joke and they have kept campsites closed for ‘our safety’ whilst caravan parks are over crowded during this ‘pandemic’. Where is the logic?

    I have spoken to several rangers over the years and I get the impression that they generally don’t want visitors accessing ‘their’ park unless they only stay on the black top or designated trails.

    There is always some excuse given to implement more and more regulations by armchair bureaucrats restricting our freedom.

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