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Parks Victoria wishes to advise the following tracks in the Benambra, Cobberas and Gelantipy areas will be temporarily closed, pending a chance for things to dry out a bit (hopefully over the next couple of weeks).  

Alpine National Park - Davies Plain network

Buckwong Track

Davies Plain Track

Misery Trail

McCarthys Track

Macs Creek Road

Limestone Creek Track 

Alpine National Park - MacFarlanes Flat network

Cobberas Track

MacFarlanes Flat Track

Ingeegoodbee Track  

Alpine National Park – Benambra

Kellys Road  

Snowy River National Park - Gelantipy network

Betts Creek Track

New Guinea Jeep Track  

Issues:  

Parts of East Gippsland and North East Victoria has had recent heavy rainfall and there is significant rain forecast for the next week, meaning that there have been no drying windows to allow road surface stabilisation after recent works and post winter conditions. Allowing vehicle access into these tracks at the moment would be likely to cause significant damage to tracks that are currently saturated through their profile.  

Most of the tracks listed are within the 2019/20 fire-impacted landscape. Following from winter, continued wet weather, subsequent increased water run off coupled with recent track surface works have made these tracks unsafe and in some sections untrafficable to visitors and PV staff. 

The listed tracks are 4WD Dry Weather Only, with some classified as Double Black Diamond, and all are located in steep, rugged terrain, and all are part of the Seasonal Road Closure network. These tracks were due to be opened immediately prior to Melbourne Cup Weekend, aside from part of Davies Plain Track, for which the normal seasonal closure extends to the start of December.  

As spring progresses to summer, warmer, drier weather should allow road the tracks to firm up. Our team will closely monitor conditions with a view to opening the tracks to vehicles as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Kind regards,  

Jarrod Bowd

Ranger Team Leader, Omeo & Buchan Valley

Significant stone-tool manufacturing area discovered at Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park

The email is an update about park assessments and Aboriginal cultural heritage rediscoveries.  It is also a reminder about upcoming information sessions.

Parks Victoria and Barengi Gadjin Land Council (BGLC) will be holding online community information sessions on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 October running from 5.30pm - 7.00pm, which will be an opportunity to hear about the recent rediscoveries and the roadmap ahead. 

For anyone who would like to attend, please register your interest at EventBrite.  Those registered will then receive login instructions on the week commencing 26 October.

The meetings follow a series of information sessions with stakeholders and local representative groups.

UPDATE ON REDISCOVERIES

At the upcoming information sessions, participants will hear about the rediscovery of a vast stone-tool quarrying and manufacturing site of potential national significance at Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park.

The production site, which extends for around 200 metres around the base of a rock face, is where Traditional Owners – the Jadawadjali, part of the Wotjobaluk Nations – manufactured a variety of tools from stone sourced all over Dyurrite (Mount Arapiles).  These included sharp-edged knives and spear-heads for cutting and hunting, and flat stones for grinding foods or crushing materials, such as to make pigments for painting. 

The rediscovery was made during condition assessments on six known rock art sites in the park. During this process, quarry sites, artefact scatters and cultural material were also identified at three other locations, highlighting the area’s rich history.  This included a ‘Hertzian percussion cone’ – evidence of the initial step in the Aboriginal quarrying process.

The stone-tool manufacturing site is located around the areas known as Plaque Rock and Tiger Wall, which include some of the highly regarded climbing routes in the park.  The other rediscovered cultural places in the park are at the locations known to climbers as ‘Mr Chicken’ and ‘Castle Crag’. Another location is at ‘Lil Lil’, in the nearby Red Rock Bushland Reserve.

To protect these special places, protection measures will be put in place along with signage so that people do not inadvertently enter these areas.

Further information about these rediscoveries is available on the Parks Victoria website, and will also be provided at next week’s online information sessions.

CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEYS

Parks Victoria is mindful that the number of recent rediscoveries and subsequent site protections has been causing uncertainty within the local community and the broader rock-climbing community.

To provide greater clarity, Parks Victoria and Barengi Gadjin Land Council will complete cultural and environmental surveys and assessments at high visitation areas in Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park.  Commencement of these surveys is imminent and expected to be completed within six months.

Parks Victoria will work with Barengi Gadjin Land Council to review the survey results and develop a plan that ensures long-term protection of values and articulates recreational access opportunities. This will provide certainty for park visitors, including the rock climbing and local communities.

 

Stuart Harradine, Manager-On Country Operations Barengi Gadjin Land Council, said:

“We are pleased as the First Nations people of Dyurrite to play a key role in the reidentification and protection of our cultural heritage in this landscape.  This is a part of upholding our sacred responsibility to care for Country and culture as passed to us through tens of thousands of years of tradition.”

“This will help us assess and put in place protection measures for what we suspect are many more of our heritage sites waiting to be reidentified, and to do so as quickly as possible to provide certainty for recreational users and small business.”

Park management is entering a new phase across Victoria. The Victorian Government and Barengi Gadjin Land Council are transitioning to joint management of Mount Arapiles Tooan State Park. This means Traditional Owners are rights holders, and management plans combine Western and Aboriginal knowledge.

Transitioning to joint management will take several years – as a guide up to five.  Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Parks Victoria ask for your support and patience as we work through this new operational landscape.

If you know others who would like to receive ongoing communication about the management of cultural heritage at Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park, they can sign up via this link  https://confirmsubscription.com/h/r/74915B7A7DC0CA942540EF23F30FEDED 

For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The following parks/reserves are open for the October 2020 long weekend (Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th)  within the DELWP Upper Murray footprint.

 

Mitta Valley:  Katie Peters Reserve, The Mill, Snowy Creek, The Walnuts, Lightning Creek and The Cricket Pitch.

Tallangatta: Avondale Gardens, Tallangatta Valley Flats. Red Rooster.

Corryong:  Dart River and  Mt Elliott only.

Please note that O’Hagen’s, Paddy Joys, Wheelers Creek, Pinnibar/ Gibson’s, Ski Hut, Bullocky, Tin Creek and Greys are all still closed to the public. I will notify you once these have been reopned.

 

The following roads are still closed within the fire impacted area and NOT safe to drive on. Road closures are in place to minimise risk to the public, damage to roads and allow hazardous tree removal and rehabilitation works to be completed.  Please note - FFM web links to the maps are currently experiencing technical difficulties

 

  1. Price Hills Track
  2. Wabba Track
  3. Carmodys Track west section (Partial)
  4. James Track
  5. Dunstans Road partial closure from Dead Finish intersection
  6. Scrubby Creek Track
  7. Wild Boar Track
  8. Wheelers Creek Road partial closure centre section
  9. Sipthorpe Track
  10. Glendart Track
  11. Straight Running Creek Track
  12. Indi River Track
  13. Fishermans Track
  14. Bunroy Creek Track
  15. Cherry Tree Avenue
  16. Mt Unicorn Track
  17. Bunroy Ridge Track
  18. Teapot Creek Track
  19. Carlyles Track
  20. Mt Elliot Ridge Track
  21. Barkers Track
  22. Beatties Track
  23. Blue Gum Ridge Track
  24. Brashes Track
  25. D9 Track
  26. Dam Track
  27. Davis Track
  28. Fishers Creek Track
  29. Fur Track
  30. Graptolite Gully Track
  31. Grays Track
  32. Mt Anderson Road- OL check Tambo
  33. Mt Boebuck Track
  34. Mt Gibbo Track
  35. Mt View Track
  36. Mystery Lane
  37. Nariel Gap Track
  38. Paddy Joy Track
  39. Rawes Creek Track
  40. Red Stringy Track
  41. Scrub Track
  42. Shady Creek Lower Track
  43. Shady Creek Upper Track
  44. Six Mile Ridge Track
  45. Ski Hut Track
  46. Snake Gully Track- needs inspection
  47. Stockwells Track
  48. Tin Creek Track
  49. Unnamed Road
  50. Upper Papes Track
  51. Whitseds Track
  52. Zulu Creek Track
  53. Zulu Mine Track
  54. Andy’s Firebreak
  55. Andys Road
  56. Chick Fireline
  57. Chinks Track
  58. GY  Link Track
  59. Mitchell Track
  60. Smiths Pines Track

For additional information about road and track closures and open areas visit:

www.parkweb.vic.gov.au , www.traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au  and www.ffm.vic.gov.au/visiting-state-forests/forest-and-road-closures

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) is continuing work to prepare Gippsland for the upcoming bushfire season, building on fuel management works conducted throughout the year to reduce bushfire risk for communities and the environment.  

FFMVic has recruited additional seasonal firefighters, with more than 250 fixed-term and permanent firefighters to be in place across the region from mid-November. 

Gippsland’s acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Kelly Rash said: “Teams of emergency specialists will be on standby for Incident Control Centres across the region from as early as November, ensuring FFMVic and partner agencies are ready to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

“Testing and servicing of our fleet of specialised firefighting vehicles is also underway, and we will have 10 aircraft based at the Latrobe Valley, Benambra, Heyfield and Bairnsdale in summer. 

“In the coming weeks fire lookout observers will be stationed in Gippsland’s 18 fire towers,” Ms Rash said. 

“This preparation builds on FFMVic’s fuel management works throughout the year, including planned burning, slashing and mulching to reduce the speed and intensity of potential bushfires in Gippsland.   

“Since mid-last year, planned burning by FFMVic in Gippsland has covered 2,377 hectares, with crews taking every opportunity to conduct burns when conditions allow and it is safe to do so.  

“This has included planned burning to reduce bushfire risk around townships, with the highest-priority burns conducted near Nowa Nowa, Buchan, Briagolong, Coongulla, Hill End and Noojee.

“In the same period, mechanical works covered more than 1,900 hectares, with crews using heavy machinery to mulch flammable vegetation to reduce fuel near Loch Sport, Port Albert and Lakes Entrance townships. 

“We are well-resourced and well-prepared for bushfire season and are continuing to build on our year-round program of works to reduce bushfire risk for communities and the environment.”   

“Fire preparedness is a shared responsibility – and that’s why we’re also working with the CFA and communities to help residents understand the actions they can take to reduce their own bushfire risk.”    

All FFMVic crews are adhering to appropriate public health and hygiene guidelines to ensure operations can safely continue across the state.  

Rachel Dawkins |Media and Communications Adviser| Gippsland
Forest, Fire and Regions | Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) is continuing work to prepare north east Victoria for the upcoming bushfire season, building on fuel management works conducted throughout the year to reduce bushfire risk for communities and the environment. 
FFMVic has recruited additional seasonal firefighters, with approximately 300 fixed-term and permanent firefighters to be in place across the region from November. FFMVic personnel are also attending a rolling schedule of training and briefings in preparation for the summer ahead.
Teams of emergency specialists will be on standby across the region from next month, ensuring FFMVic and partner agencies are ready to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
Testing and servicing the region’s fleet of specialised firefighting vehicles is also underway, while firefighting aircraft will return to the Albury, Ovens and Mansfield airbases in summer.
In the coming weeks, fire lookout observers will also be stationed at local fire towers.
This preparation builds on FFMVic’s fuel management works throughout the year, including planned burning, slashing and mulching to reduce the speed and intensity of potential bushfires.  
Since mid-last year, FFMVic has completed 56 planned burns in the region covering almost 10,000 hectares, with crews taking every opportunity to conduct burns when conditions allow, and it is safe to do so.
This has included planned burning to reduce bushfire risk near Marysville, Kinglake, Merrijig, Sawmill Settlement, Chiltern and Granya.
In the same period, mechanical works covering almost 3,500 hectares was undertaken, with crews using heavy machinery to mulch flammable vegetation to reduce fuel near Barmah, Narbethong, Marysville, Stanley and Mitta Mitta.
All FFMVic crews are adhering to appropriate public health and hygiene guidelines to ensure operations can safely continue across the state. 


Quotes attributable to FFMVic Hume Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Aaron Kennedy:   

“We are well-resourced and prepared for the bushfire season and are continuing to build on our year-round program of works to reduce bushfire risk for communities and the environment.” 

“S
easonal firefighters will work alongside our experienced permanent staff to respond to bushfires and undertake planned burning.”

“Fire preparedness is a shared responsibility – and that’s why we’re also working with the CFA and communities to help residents understand the actions they can take to reduce their own bushfire risk.”  

Brittany Evans |Regional Media and Communications Adviser | Hume Region

Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

Parks Victoria’s aerial shooting operation is returning to the Dinner Plain/Dargo High Plains area of the Alpine National Park from Monday 26th October to Friday 30th October.  Parts of the park will be closed while the operation is underway.  See map of Alpine National Park Dinner Plain Dargo High Plains deer control area

The aim of this program is to remove deer and feral animals from recently burnt, and adjacent unburnt, areas to give native species the best chance of recovery after the 2019/20 fires. 

This area is home to native vegetation communities, and plant and animal species that occur nowhere else in the world.  Some of these unique plant communities, including alpine peatlands, are threatened at both state and national levels. They are critical for maintaining the integrity of the headwaters of some of Australia’s most important sources of fresh water, including the Murray.  Some of the native plants and animals living in this area only exist in tiny, remote patches within the Alps. They rely on healthy plant communities, clean water and stable streambanks to provide food and shelter in the harsh alpine environment. 

Deer pose a threat to the health of these landscapes as they can trample and browse on native vegetation, create wallows and assist the spread of weeds and pathogens. These native ecosystems are much more vulnerable to these types of impacts while they regrow and recover following recent fires. This is why Parks Victoria is implementing more intensive control programs during the recovery phase. 

Our operations have been timed to occur while seasonal road closures are still in place to reduce potential inconvenience to park visitors. 

For more information about Parks Victoria’s deer and feral animal control programs in response to bushfire, visit www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects/deer-and-feral-animal-control-in-response-to-bushfire 

Please visit the Alpine National Park webpage for the latest information about closures and conditions – www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/alpine-national-park 

Regards,

Parks Victoria

Maits Rest – Great Otway National Park

 This is a notification of a temporary park closure for Maits Rest Visitor Area within the Great Otway National Park.

Recent tree risk works has identified trees that are at risk of imminent failure. To manage visitor and staff safety at the site, the site will be temporarily closed until the trees in question can be treated. The Maits Rest Visitor Area will be closed from 8 October 2020 to the 16th October 2020.

Please visit Parks Victoria website for all park updates and closures. 

 

 

There's a lot that happens behind the scenes to keep four-wheel drivers on track and on the right side of land managers.  Hema had a chat with Wayne Hevey, CEO of  Four Wheel Drive Victoria, to find out a little more about what goes on behind the scenes of Victoria's peak body.

Full Interview

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September, the Victorian Government has announced changes to restrictions in Melbourne. 

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 16 September, the Victorian Government has announced changes to restrictions in regional Victoria. 

Face coverings remain mandatory for all of Victoria. 

For metropolitan Melbourne, restrictions remain that limit gatherings to 2 people or a household that can meet outdoors for two hours maximum. 

In Regional Victoria, up to 10 people can meet outdoors for outdoor exercise, recreation and social interaction (infants < 12 months are not included in the cap). 

This means Licenced Tour Operators based in Regional Victoria and operating in parks in Regional Victoria may recommence tour activities. 

For metropolitan Melbourne, restrictions remain in place that limit gatherings to 2 people or a household that can meet outdoors for two hours maximum. This means Licenced Tour Operators cannot operate on Parks Victoria managed land within the metropolitan Melbourne area while the restrictions are in place. 

Please note that LTOs living in Melbourne may not cross into Regional Victoria to operate, and regionally based LTOs may not travel into Melbourne. 

Please familiarise yourself with the latest information at: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au  

Parks Victoria has also closed some popular visitor sites for public safety. You can find the most up-to-date list of closed areas on our website at: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-in-nature/covid-19-update 

Physical distancing directions remain in parks that are open. Park visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser as soaps are not provided, wear masks, and practice good hygiene.   

All Victorians should stay safe by washing your hands, keeping your distance from others and staying home if you feel unwell. 

What are the penalties for not following the restrictions?

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $4,957 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for: 

  • Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions;  
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction 
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,0000 for businesses are possible through the court system.

Conditions in parks can change quickly. Please always check Parks Victoria’s website www.parks.vic.gov.au and the change of conditions and closures page before visiting parks.  

Parks Victoria