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Hi Guys,

I’m not sure how many of you are aware of the proposed walk trail through the Fitzgerald National Park but it’s been on the drawing board since the closure of the BHP Ravensthorpe mine a couple of years ago. You might want to check on the progress of the trail, see the link provided by Peter Fishwick from DEC, www.dec.wa.gov.au/frnp.

There is some opposition to this trail from the local environmental groups like the Friends of the Fitzgerald, mainly due to dieback issues, but DEC has stated that it believes that those issues can be managed by good trail alignment amongst other things.

An extract from their newsletter below:
Walk trail
Walk trail planning is in progress. The walk trail corridor has been aligned. Heritage surveys, Fauna surveys, and first season flora surveys have been completed.
On Monday 2 May 2011 the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) publically released its advice in the form of a report and recommendations to the Minister for Environment; Water following their assessment of a third party referral of the proposed coastal walk trail in the Fitzgerald River National Park (FRNP). The EPA's advice to the Minister was that the proposal for the walk trail, its management and associated facilities (shelters, toilets, water supplies, access for management) could not meet the EPA's environmental objectives and was considered to be environmentally unacceptable. The EPA proposed to the Minister a modified walk trail alignment, which excluded any trail in the wilderness zone of the FRNP, and suggested some additional conditions which could be attached to the modified trail.
An appeal process and period is in place and closes 16 May 2011. An appeals convener will collate appeals and ask the EPA to submit a report to the Minister, within a specified period, where after the Minister will then make a decision.
A full copy of the report and recommendations may be found on the EPA website http://www.epa.wa.gov.au
Please check this page for updates and future opportunities for consultation on this project.
To be added to the stakeholder list to be kept up-to-date on the project, email Peter Fishwick This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , the DEC Project Coordinator.
It is disappointing that the EPA has returned an adverse finding on the trail. Hopefully the appeal will see a different ruling. Maybe the Trails Community should be taking a more active role in ensuring this trail goes ahead – that is assuming that the general Trails Community wants new trails such as this in wilderness areas?
Cheers,
Mike Wood (Chairman, Bibbulmun Track Foundation)
Director.
Peregrine Travel Centre Perth
mike@peregrinewa.com.au
www.summittravel.com.au
ph:+61 8 9321 1259
fax: +61 8 9481 7375

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