What more, if anything, can be done to improve safety in rugged regions?

Published: October 17, 2023

Another accidental death at an Australian beauty spot has yet again raised the question of what more – if anything – can be done to improve safety in these wild, naturally stunning areas.

In the latest incident, a woman died after falling 50 metres from McKenzie’s lookout in the Moreton State Conservation Area west of Nowra on the NSW south coast. Witnesses confirmed the fall was an accident.

Back in 2019, it is understood a 13-year-old boy slipped and fell to his death at the same lookout. But the issue of safety at popular – but rugged – spots is not one restricted to one particular location.

Earlier this year, a woman in her 50s was carried to safety by rescue crews after falling from a ledge at Dales Gorge in WA’s remote Karijini National Park.

Back in February, a 22-year-old man fell to his death from Gibraltar Falls in the ACT’s Namadgi National Park.

Just a week earlier, a 19-year-old man fell to his death while walking across rocks in front of the same falls.

And last year, a 58-year-old woman fell more than 40 metres to her death from the top of a waterfall in Far North Queensland.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has previously said nobody wants to see national parks filled with obtrusive fences, but sometimes it has little choice.

“Before people enter dangerous areas such as cliff tops and tidal rock shelves, we urge them to think about the consequences of their actions,” said an NPWS spokesperson. “Safety is also a personal responsibility and park management encourages visitors to be aware of their own physical abilities and experience when deciding on which activities to undertake in our national parks.”

  • Should more be done to make Australia’s wilderness areas safer? Comment below.

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Perhaps some signs outlining the danger or some better barriers at designated lookouts. Other than that there is nothing else that should be done. People need to take responsibility for their own safety and not take stupid risks for the sake of a photo. I live on top of a mountain surrounded by national parks and heavily visited by tourists. I would hate to see it filled with barriers because people can’t act responsibly.

No, I don’t believe more can or should be done. People must be responsible for the risks they take. Suggesting that “authorities” do more is a ridiculous idea.

I would hate to see all the beautiful places around Australia, fenced and paved because people want to venture beyond their capabilities.

People need to take responsibility for themselves and stop relying on others to come help if they have purposely put themselves into danger.

As a solo traveller, I know what I can and can’t safely do and I carry an EPIRB if the unavoidable ever happened.

Weigh up the risks before you head off, and be prepared to turn back at any time.

Easily fixed, stop people from venturing out into the bush.
Maybe install handrail & non-slip matting along every bushwalking trail in Australa. LOL
Children need adult supervision when they’re out in the bush.
What’s happened to bit of common sense?

Fence it off…not the answer as the idiots will climb over it. As they say it’s very hard to fix stupid.


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