The State Government’s claim it has re-opened every recreation site impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires, is blatantly dishonest, says Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull.
The Government reports it has “reinstated 100% of recreation sites”, but this is just not true.
They should have them reinstated and reopened – but reality is, they are a long way off.
Mr Bull said it was incredible the State was patting itself on the back for its post fire recovery works, when two years on there is still so much to be done.
“These Melbourne MPs and bureaucrats must think we are all stupid. We live here, we are still seeing the closed signs on our tourist infrastructure.”
Parks Victoria’s own website states the following (two years on from the fires):
- Cape Conran Boardwalk rebuild has not yet started (the Minister said it will be finished by Christmas, but work has not commenced)
- The Thurra River Bridge has a completion date of late 2023 (four years after the fire). As a result, Thurra River campground will not be open until then.
- Rebuild of the cabins lost through fire at Cape Conran has not yet started
- Tenders to replace jetties at Genoa River Fire Trail and Gravelly Point have still not been released.
- Wingan Inlet boardwalk is not yet completed despite assurances it would be open by Easter last year.
- Sandy Point toilet not rebuilt
- South West Arm Toilet not rebuilt.
- Genoa River toilet and jetty under construction but not yet finished.
- Wilderness Coast Walk remains closed for a large portion between Shipwreck Creek and Bemm River.
- Cicada Trail still closed
- Wingan Inlet Rapids Walk still closed
- Mt Everard Walk still closed
- Gale Hill Track still closed.
Mr Bull said this was simply not good enough, particularly when the DELWP annual report shows it has substantially increased the number of senior executives in its ranks while cutting vital field staff over the past financial year.
“The Department’s own annual report shows there has been a steady erosion in numbers of frontline staff employed to deliver vital services on the ground.
“And what is their response. We will put out a statement telling everyone all the recreation areas are reinstated – unfortunately, they are not open – far from it,” Mr Bull said.