Kroombit Tops National Park

New route makes access to Kroombit Tops easier

TWO decades in the making, Kroombit Tops National Park has had its beauty unlocked from another access point. The official announcement and opening of the East-West Razorback Rd at the national park occurred at noon on Tuesday. The access road is in the beautiful rural heartland of Banana Shire, through Kroombit Farmstay on Lochenbar Station.



GAPDL chief executive Glenn Churchill said the announcement was exciting and would enhance guests' experience in the national park. "This exciting and welcome announcement today by the Queensland Government is another successful outcome from the Kroombit Tops Feasibility Study," he said.
"This is an opportunity to offer to the community and visitors to the region prescribed 4WD public roadways that allow for the exploration and appreciation of the national park and outlying areas. 



Carol Sandiland, of Lochenbar Station, said the opening was the realisation of a long-awaited goal. "We are located at the gateway to Kroombit Tops," she said.
"We hold a great passion for the national park and all of its beauty and it is great to see the Razorback Rd open." How to get there:
• 4WD high-clearance vehicles only.
• The western entrance to Razorback Rd can be accessed from Valentine Plains Rd, Biloela.

(thanks from http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au)

Tourism Research Aust

An Interesting Read from Tourism Research Australia.

We were intrigued when the Qld Camping Guidelines were issued that there was a claim made in BDO research commissioned by the CRVA that people who camped in caravan parks spent more money in a town than people who free camped, so we went looking and found this research done by the TRA (Tourism Research Aust) and we quote from their research.

"An analysis of the expenditure of the different caravan/camping groups shows that the highest average daily expenditure per person whilst in QOCW was recorded by those who used a combination of commercial and non-commercial sites ($90). Those who only used commercial sites spent slightly less per day on average ($80). Visitors who utilised only non-commercial sites spent less per day ($60), however, by virtue of the fact that they tended to spend longer in the region their total spend whilst in QOCW was comparable to the other caravan or camping groups. This analysis shows that the large majority of visitors who utilise non-commercial sites in QOCW spend significantly whilst in the region. Therefore one could argue that the key motivations for using such sites are more about experiences and itineraries than about saving money.

TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT (for the people that love lots of statistics) CLICK ON THIS LINK AND SAVE THE PDF

Stockton Rally Report FEB 2014

Unlock Australia
Righto folks, by now you probably know the news but at last YOUR Unlock Australia is starting to kick some goals. Using money raised from the Red truck raffle and subsequent merchandise sales we funded and held a rally in Newcastle last Sunday to protest the closure of Stockton Bight.

There were 2400 vehicles in the parking area and another couple of hundred in the streets outside. We estimate almost 10,000 people came through during a pretty wet and dismal day weather wise but one that was alive with hope and determination to get our tracks open again. The issues at Stockton are fairly specific to that area but the usual problems - parks closing down access and shutting off camping - were dealt with by offering solutions. Amazingly the local parks office still contends there's beach access and camping while even the TV report on NBN had the reporter standing outside a locked gate.

Clip from Herald Sun

DID UNLOCK AUSTRALIA MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Yes, we did. The tide is turning. I'm attaching some of the press clippings from both pre and post event newspapers so you can see for yourself. If you haven't seen it make sure you look at the newsclip which is on our Unlock facebook site. It's not all brilliant but it's a huge turn towards seeing our cause in a positive way. I did three radio interviews on Monday for Newcastle stations and all the DJ's were sympathetic to our cause. This is a big change from the last time we did anything like this.

On a purely practical note, after having meetings with the Worimi and parks representatives Unlock has made a submission - copy below - based on what we think would work for Stockton. The success of the rally itself means we've now been invited to talk to the minister and the local member. This is a huge step and proves that numbers count.

Bigger is better though - make sure you spread the word!

Free camping has just been banned in Victoria so it looks like that might be our next battle. I can see before long we'll almost need a rolling road show across the country to protest all the closures of our public lands.

Meanwhile rest assured your membership counts and Unlock Australia is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Once again, thanks for being a part of this.

cheers
John Rooth

P.S. Some more clippings from the local papers

Short Take from Ed James, thanks mate!

That's right! We're not rednecks.

And a success it was! Thank you to all who attended.

Quote unquote from John

 

GET YOUR SUBMISSIONS IN

WITH LESS THAN A MONTH UNTIL SUBMISSIONS CLOSE FOR THE STOCKTON BEACH DRAFT PLAN OF MANAGEMENT ITS TIME TO HAVE YOUR SAY.

WATCH THE VIDEO 

ITS ALL ABOUT NUMBERS HERE GUYS, THE MORE PEOPLE WHO SEND THIS LETTER IN THE BETTER CHANCE WE HAVE AT MAKING A CHANGE! 

DON'T FORGET TO SAVE THE DATE OF SUNDAY 16th FEBRUARY FOR THE BIG UNLOCK AUSTRALIA STOCKTON BEACH RALLY IN NEWCASTLE. MORE INFO TO FOLLOW SHORTLY!

Pilliga locked down

Pilliga locked down amid CSG program

Huge swathes of public land surrounding Santos coal seam gas drilling activities in the Pilliga forest of North West NSW have been closed to the public by police in what is suspected to be a bid to keep the watchful eyes of the public and media out of Santos' way, protesters says.

 

Pilliga East State forest and Bibblewindi State Forest were declared closed yesterday afternoon, with police telling community members that all visitors to the usually public areas must move on by 9am this morning, or risk $2200 fines.
 
"I'm staggered that this lock out is taking place in our local public forests with no reason provided by the police or Forestry Corporation," said Narrabri Shire farmer Sarah Ciesiolka.
 
"These large and sudden exclusion zones around Santos' activities in the Pilliga state forests makes it obvious that it's the push for coal seam gas drilling that's behind this.
 
"It's seems disturbingly clear that the local police are now taking orders from Santos, instead of defending the best interests of the public.
 
Bundella farmer Megan Kuhn said local farmers visiting the state forest had found coal seam gas waste water spills and alerted authorities and media in recent years.
 
"These are public roads that we have a right to access to help community stay informed," she said.
 
"The EPA only have three ‘field officers’ based in Armidale to inspect the whole north west and we are far from satisfied that they monitor Santos’ operations to a satisfactory level."

From the Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/pilliga-locked-down-amid-csg-program/story-e6frg90f-1226872185457

Wattle Range Council

Wattle Range Council considers free camping zones

From the council:

1 April 2014

With the increase of visitors travelling with self-contained motorhomes and caravans, the Wattle Range Council is considering designating camping areas for these vehicles.

Mayor Peter Gandolfi said Council is seeking public comment on the designation of limited short term vehicle only camping areas in various locations across the Council area.

Mr Gandolfi said more and more people are travelling with self-contained vehicles and currently there are no designated areas where they can camp.

“Visitors are currently stopping throughout Wattle Range during their stay and Council is well aware that some are camping at inappropriate areas including town parklands,” said Mr Gandolfi.

“As a result, Council is aiming to limit the camping to appropriate locations and regulating these stays through its bylaws.”

He said refusing free camping altogether would simply result in travellers moving to neighbouring council areas resulting in lost income to the retail and service sector in Wattle Range.

“Some owners of self-contained motorhomes and caravans choose not to stay in caravan parks,” Mr Gandolfi said. “To cater to these people Council established a bylaw allowing short-term stays and is now in the process of identifying suitable areas where this free camping can occur. These locations will be only for self-contained motorhomes and caravans and will not allow the erection of tents.”

Council is seeking feedback from members of the public, including caravan park owners and others in the business community, on the locations being considered for recreational vehicle free camping.

Council officers have suggested the following locations could be considered as designated free camping areas:

    Greenrise Lake, Penola – maximum of 2 nights
    Kalangadoo Railway Reserve Park – overnight only
    Railway Reserve Tantanoola – maximum 2 nights
    Visitor Information Centre, Millicent – overnight only
    Mt Gambier Road Parking Bay – overnight only

Maps showing these sites and further information on Council’s Recreational Vehicle Camping Areas can be found on Councils Website: http://www.wattlerange.sa.gov.au/rv-vancamping

Written submissions should be addressed to the Wattle Range Council and posted to one of the following addresses before 5pm on Wednesday 30th April 2014:

    PO Box 27, Millicent SA 5280; or left at:
    the 'Civic Centre', George Street, Millicent
    Beachport Visitor Information Centre - Millicent Road, Beachport
    Penola Visitor Information Centre - 27 Arthur Street, Penola

District Park Venue Announced

District Park, Newcastle announced as the venue for February 16 Protest

It is with great anticipation we announce that the venue for the protest rally on the 16th of February will be District Park in the middle of Newcastle. District Park has parking for over 1200 vehicles and thanks to the team at Hunter Venues and Hunter Stadium we have access to overflow parking at Hunter Stadium and surrounding streets. 

The event will officially kick off at 10am and will include a number of great features. There will be a chance to meet Roothy and the Unlock Australia team. The boys from 4WD Action are cooking up a BBQ lunch, there will be rides and jumping castles for the kids, a fund raising auction with some great gear up for grabs. The lads from Rampt customs will be running a travel ramp so you can test your flex score and there will be a heap of great prizes for the best looking 4wd's on the day! 

There will be a large selection of stickers and merchandise available on the day. However if you want to get your supporter gear early make sure you PRE-ORDER your gear online and pick it up on the morning of the event. CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER TODAY!



At 12 midday will be the business end of the event with speeches from John Rooth, senator David Leyonhelm, and potentially a number of key government decision makers on the Stockton Management Plan. 

We ask that everyone coming on the day drives safely and responsibly, there will be a police presence for traffic management purposes and there will be a large force of ULA volunteers helping out so please listen to instructions and follow directions and we will all have a great day. 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND THE LATEST UPDATES HEAD TO www.facebook.com/unlockaustralia

 

 

Dob in a Dickhead

IT'S TIME TO MAKE A STAND… THERE ARE TOO MANY IDIOTS DESTROYING THE WORK THE REST OF US ARE TRYING TO DO TO STOP TRACKS CLOSING AROUND OUR COUNTRY!

Unlock Australia has created the 'Dob in a Dickhead' initiative in order to show that we the 99% of responsible bush users and outdoor enthusiasts do not want to be grouped in with the 1% of idiots who don't care about our country and destroy it for the rest of us. 

SO HOW DOES IT WORK? 

'Dob in a Dickhead' is really easy! If you see someone abusing the beach, bush or environment all you need to do is the following.

1. TAKE A PHOTO
(this can be done on your phone or camera and is evidence to prove that this person was causing damage, littering or disrespecting the bush) 

2. WRITE DOWN THE REGO
(take note of the vehicle registration including state of registration and type of vehicle)

3. SEND US AN EMAIL
(simply click the link below and send us an email with these details along with a description of where the incident occurred and what you saw. Make sure you include the images as attachments)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

We will take this information and pass it on to the appropriate authorities, be that the local Rangers or the local Police department, and we will follow up to see what has been done about bringing them to justice for their crimes. 


THE REAL CAUSE FOR RUBBISH DUMPING IN AUSTRALIA

We all know that disposing of rubbish in Australia is not only extremely expensive, it is also highly restricted and badly managed. With fees for dumping rubbish going up more and more every year, struggling Australian families are looking to other ways to dispose of their trash. Sadly its often the Australian bush that cops the raw end of the stick. Wouldn't it be great if instead of just trying to make more money the EPA and Australian Dumps would consider decreasing the cost of dumping rubbish so that visiting the tip could be an exercise for all Australians, not just the ones with big wallets! 

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT EPA AND THE REAL REASON FOR DUMPING IN AUSTRALIA, CHECK BACK IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS FOR OUR IN DEPTH REPORT!

REPORT ILLEGAL DUMPING 

While we will be reporting all the information that comes in through 'Dob in a Dickhead' there are a number of other ways you can help to report illegal dumping, below are the numbers you need in your state. 

Western Australia 1300 766 541
Victoria 1300 372 842
South Australia 1800 623 445
New South Wales 131 555
Tasmania 1300 135 513
Queensland 13 74 68

 

**Please note taking photos of people acting like idiots can be potentially dangerous, please be careful. Unlock Australia and the 'Dob in a Dickhead' initiative hold no responsibility for any actions that occur from you reporting these events, understand that you do this at your own risk.