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Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park

Business and funding

Doug Finlayson

In their application for subdivision of lands on 4 November, 1984, to the Yarrowlumla Shire Council, Queanbeyan, the land owners J. H. Hyles and B. T. Corkhill set out the objectives of the proposed subdivision. The objectives included the following:

1.2 - To establish an Environment Protection Zone within the Yarrowlumla Shire, along the corridors of the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek.

1.3 - To preserve the Ginninderra Falls area as a tourist and recreation venue.

1.4 - To progressively enhance the tourist and recreation facilities in an environmentally conscious manner and

1.7 - To protect the corridors from further materials extraction processes which have significantly damaged the area in the past.

It is clear that since the 1984 land subdivision these objectives have not been accomplished.

The proponents of the Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park wish to return to these very worthy objectives and establish a sustainable national park that ensures public access to these places of outstanding natural beauty for present and future generations.

It is envisaged that the Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park will be incorporated with the NSW network of national parks. The NSW Government has set out a strategic document for the management of its national parks -

New South Wales
National Parks
Establishment Plan 2008

Directions for building a diverse and resilient system of parks and reserves under the National Parks and Wildlife Act

It is envisaged that the park would be managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). In part, the Establishment Plan aims to

  • “. . . increase Opportunities for nature-based and cultural tourism and recreation, and improve community wellbeing.”

More specifically, the plan recognises the following themes -

  • culturally important places with aesthetic, historic, scientific or social value for past, present or future generations particularly focusing on areas of ongoing Aboriginal cultural use
  • areas which are significant to Aboriginal communities for the objects they contain or landscape features of significance
  • lands which are outstanding examples of cultural heritage which are poorly protected, threatened, not accessible to the community, or are of particular aesthetic and recreational value”.

The Public Reserve system seeks to -

  • “provide opportunities for public enjoyment including nature-based recreation and education in a diverse array of landscapes in all regions of NSW. ”
  • “In addition to the conservation imperative to protect biodiversity, another primary objective of the public conservation reserve system is its role in protecting areas of special value to people, including places of aesthetic, historic, scientific, social and recreational value. ”

There is considerable detail in the Establishment Plan. One statistic worth quoting is that within the NSW Southeast Highlands region within which the proposed Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park lies, the total area under a reserve system is 5.2% of the land area. Overall NSW has 8.4% of reserved land area compared with 16.8% in Victoria, 26% in South Australia, and 13% in Western Australia.

There are many examples of business models that can be used for the operations of the proposed Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park. Because vehicle entry to the park will inevitably be along the Parkwood Road, a model found at the Hanging Rock Recreation Park may be considered. This park, within one hours drive from Melbourne, is run by the Shire Council. Vehicle entry is controlled by boom gate and exit by a ticket purchased in the park vending machines - $25 per car. The park has resident on-site ranger staff. Catering staff come in every day. The Hanging Rock Recreation Park is a very, very popular destination for Melbourne residents.

Entrance to Hanging Rock Recreation Park, Victoria

There is similar management of the Tower Hill National Park near Warnambool on the Shipwreck Coast of Victoria. This park is run by Parks Victoria. Our preferred model is for management of the Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park by NSW Parks & Wildlife Service along similar lines as the Victorian examples.

Tower Hill Recreational Park, Victoria

Ginninderra Falls Association Incorporated

Tourism and education

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