Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

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Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 9:46 am

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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby dee_legg » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 6:10 pm

... well that explains the stakes and tags leading away from Dixon's Kingdom that a few of us have stumbled upon and commented on recently.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby north-north-west » Tue 21 Jan, 2020 6:57 pm

Why do they bother with this farce? It''s not like any submissions contrary to what they've already decided will be paid any attention.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby rangersac » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 8:36 am

Commercial operator arguments aside in the WoJ I actually think the proposed work here is overdue. Dixon's campground in particular is becoming heavily trafficked on the uphill side of the hut with obvious pads leading into camping areas under the pines, leading to compaction. And increasing numbers of people are camping around the Pool of Bethesda which is a sensitive area, so better facilities at Dixon's should discourage this (yes I know signs request no camping in the central valley). Similarly the route down Jaffa Vale has an increasing number of leads, so consolidation of these makes sense before erosion really takes hold.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 11:48 am

Boggy braided tracks or broken board works just get walked around and if toilets aren't available walkers will just go wherever they can. Fixing these things, out in the park, wont discourage more people to visit and further recreational spread to the next 'wilderness'. And the walk in to WDC doesn't need much work. So yeah, I agree, it's always good to see efforts to limit the damage visitors can do. These are wholesome activities we all can feel good about. Even if the impact is relatively minor in a broad picture. A new track classification may then see a staff presence, it's always good to see park staff out in the wilds in an educational and maintenance role.

But we all know, as we've been told, that the overarching desire is to make money from parks. And it seems by actively promoting places such as the WoJ. The big picture starts to degrade when considering the exclusivity that comes from track fees, and degrades further with tedious booking systems and meeting 'friendly' Compliance staff. Further to develop unnecessary new routes primarily for control or money making purposes. And further still to see the ingress of exclusive private huts and the insidious role the owners then take in shaping future management decisions (as they Obviously have on other tracks). And the extent of this isn't out and proud in any management plan or even tolerated as part of community consultation (the re-visioning is off limits) or apparently even accepted from concerned park staff themselves. We have a hazy concept that will end with every area once popular with bushwalkers developed in such a way. The money will make this inevitable in Tasmania. And when such development becomes the new norm, eyes on even more remote and fragile 'wilderness'. Or maybe just to the same extent as overseas precedents, at least (as they are now seeing) to the point where the new norm reaches some sort of self-limit, well after a semblance of true or remote wilderness is gone.

Keeping exclusive private developments out of parks would go a long way to limiting management decisions to wilderness ideals, for the long term. This part is worth fighting for.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby tastrax » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 12:32 pm

The biggest thing about this is that you are seeing the draft RAA which has always been an internal document in PWS (to the best of my knowledge). At least now its being publicly released and people can spot the flaws or the blatant 'oversights and omissions' that have plagued some other processes. A much better process and probably came about as a result of disputes/appeals for other projects.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 12:38 pm

rangersac wrote:f people are camping around the Pool of Bethesda

Blows my mind that people do this. I've seen in the last couple of times I've been up that way (most recently last year).

On the main topic... I really hope this isn't the thin end of the wedge. I agree some work could be done to manage the impact around Dixons but i'll be pi$$ed if the private hut folks manage to get into the walls... bad enough that there are exclusive platforms at WDC IMO (ducks for cover...). This consultation popped up in my facebook feed and some of the comments :shock: , eg. "I hope they smooth out the track up to Trappers Hut coz it's too rough" (its a freaking highway!!), or wanting platforms at Lake Adelaide etc. I guess it's bound to happen but i fear the walls will end up being overdeveloped like parts of the reserve.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby rangersac » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 1:17 pm

I don't disagree with any of the sentiments by others here regarding the commercialisation of wilderness in Tasmania, or the concepts and push towards developing exclusivity for cashed up visitors. However, if we can remove the worries that this is some kind of path down the track fee/ private hut route I think the plan is very sensible. The WoJ has been long been promoted as the 'Overland Lite' walk and as the RAA states in the past decade visitor numbers have increased by 50%. The proposed plan I feel provides an appropriate upgrade of facilities to minimize impacts that this increase in visitation has undoubtedly caused. There's also plenty of other sites would also benefit from such upgrade plan, e.g. Tarn Shelf circuit, and it's I think it's commendable that TasPAWS are undertaking such investments.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 1:21 pm

Walk_fat boy_walk wrote: bad enough that there are exclusive platforms at WDC IMO (ducks for cover...)


Agreed. But it benefits everyone to have a place for groups (which isn't only, or maybe not even, commercial groups) so up to a dozen tents don't spread out and swamp public sites. Personally, I see a place for some sort of rudimentary group booking long before a public one. And maybe some way public walkers can know if a group site is even booked that day.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 2:40 pm

tastrax wrote:The biggest thing about this is that you are seeing the draft RAA which has always been an internal document in PWS (to the best of my knowledge). At least now its being publicly released and people can spot the flaws or the blatant 'oversights and omissions' that have plagued some other processes. A much better process and probably came about as a result of disputes/appeals for other projects.


I hadn't realised these were in-house by default, Just that the ones that caught my interest, so far, were. I can't find the Windermere site plan anywhere yet(?). Not that I generally distrust works on the ground, just any hidden agenda (for which it would need some close parks experience to pick up on omissions etc.)

Maybe some of this cut through: https://tasmps.greens.org.au/content/gr ... ents-parks
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby lefroy » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 4:32 pm

I'm in the middle I guess, I get that we need to protect these areas from damage but at the same time they are making them look a lot less like the places people go there to see?
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Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby rangersac » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 6:36 pm

Central walls already has pretty extensive path and camping infrastructure in place, so from that perspective it’s hardly an untracked, untouched wilderness. Given this it seems preferable (or at least to me it does!) to develop/ extend this given the increased visitation that is occurring to mitigate the effects of it
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby lefroy » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 7:16 pm

Would that not be similar to saying'we have already f'd the Florentine so may as well log the rest of it?'
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Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby rangersac » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 7:39 pm

lefroy wrote:Would that not be similar to saying'we have already f'd the Florentine so may as well log the rest of it?'


Errr, no. I reckon the construction of tent platforms, some FRP boardwalk and a couple of dunnies in an area which already has extensive boardwalks, rock armoured paths, existing platforms and toilets doesn’t really compare to logging the Florentine. Moreover given the sensitivity of the landscape both the tracks traverse and the campsites occupy some additional protection seems warranted to me.

I guess if one wanted to draw an equivalence with logging the Florentine then full path reconstruction 3 capes style, private huts and exorbitant tracks fees might be a good parallel?!
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby lefroy » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 8:04 pm

OK we can definitely agree on that one!
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Wed 22 Jan, 2020 8:28 pm

And it's very likely that is what will come and the motivation for now having miraculously found some funding? This is a commonly mentioned concern in these discussions and the public has no reason to expect it's not the case in the medium if not short term here? We'd have to ignore reality to separate park track operations for minimal impact from commercial development, there's already at least one vague project brief for exclusive accommodation in the area.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby rangersac » Thu 23 Jan, 2020 9:43 am

If the motivation is to promote exclusivity and private hut based ventures for cash then maintaining/ upgrading existing camping areas seems like a somewhat backwards way to achieving it no? After all if you and your mates are forking out $500+ per night then seeing the plebs getting nice facilities and having to share it with said peasants might make one feel like monies were not being well spent. I wouldn't know, as I've certainly never forked out for guiding walking in Australia. The only place I have done so was on the Inca Trail where having a guide is mandatory.

It does beg the question though of what is the solution when the facts are that the WoJ are becoming increasingly popular and with good reason. It's arguably as scenic as any of the longer more iconic walks, it's very achievable for even people of moderate fitness and it doesn't require massive expenditure for track use or access. Fortunately visitation numbers are not huge, most likely because it is somewhat more off the beaten track to get to, and people are put off by the false idea that the walk in is a massive slog to Trappers Hut when IMHO walks like Cathedral Rock or Quamby Bluff are more strenuous even though they are short day walks. So the options to me would seem to be:

1. Maintain what is currently there but no expansion. This would result in continuing issues at Dixons with camping under the pines, an overflowing toilet (it certainly was when I was there) and idiots staying in unsuitable spots like Bethesda.

2. Expand/ upgrade what there is currently to try and mitigate issues that have arisen. In isolation I think the RAA is attempting to achieve this. Looking more broadly I can see the concerns that this might be a move down the $$/ exclusivity path, however as I have highlighted above I don't see this project as being the ideal way to achieve it. If money was the sole object you could make a quick buck far more easily by slapping additional visitor levies on Freycinet or Mt Field.

3. Reduce numbers by charging extra/ requiring bookings. Obviously this is what we all want to avoid.

4. Let the existing infrastructure degrade and don't replace it, returning the area to a 'wild' state. Fine if one thinks that eroded, braided tracks, toilet pits everywhere and trashed alpine veg along the route convey more of a sense of wilderness, than low visual impact boardwalks, tents and well sited toilets
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Thu 23 Jan, 2020 3:04 pm

Expectations. You can hardly expect the Chardonnay set to walk on anything less than a dry-boot track. Or on Their exclusive circuit, drop in to a full or stinky toilet.

Sth Coast gets a huge funding boost the year private huts EOI is announced, how much for the WA's? Lk. Rodway Track gets a boost and new toilet, Horse Trk falls apart. Is there an EOI near Tarn shelf?

Minimal Impact, it was such an awesome concept. Minimal walker impact and minimal manipulation by P&W.
I mean who actually believes anyone digs a 20-25cm hole (to bury waste '15cm deep') anywhere in alpine Tas? Where's the waste bag dispensers near trail-heads and waste bag receptacles/ toilets? And any attempt at education, is it contaminated water supplies in busy places or the fact that critters dig much of it up and eat it? Why replace or repair an entire track and add in a circuit when repairing the bits of potential damage is all that's necessary- for the environment.

But my personal bug bear comes back commercialism. I only see positives in commercial camping but even this should be questioned. Fund track maintenance from this minimal exclusivity. Or it just runs away. I read a recent post on 3C track. 'best track in Australia', 'Love It', 'Such Luxury'.. Good on them, but how on earth can 'wilderness' survive the support of these additional types other than continually being made 'just like home'?

I've heard the arguments that development may be inevitable, public and exclusive huts be seen as minimising impact v's return$, and (the dubious) 'facilities make wilderness more accessible..' all fuzzy logic. Ideally our P&W service could avoid politics, just focus on wilderness protection and community participation without grand designs. Much like they did before the current government got involved, spending only where they see profit, swapping morality for a balanced budget.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Mechanic-AL » Fri 24 Jan, 2020 10:15 pm

It seems as though there has been a significant increase in the number of walkers camping at DK now days then continuing on to Lake Adelaide and completing the circuit back to Trappers hut.
Both ends of Lake Ball and in particular the campsites at Lake Adelaide could all very easily degenerate into sloppy cesspits with the increased number of walkers. Some sort of control measures should be put in place. Duckboards, tent platforms and composting dunnies are all acceptable if numbers are just left unchecked. As others have already said, it is the potential for commercialization of these places that is the scary bit.
In that respect I think the Three Capes has a lot to answer for. Why stop at a few tent platforms and some dunnies when the 3 Capes experience has proven to be such an accomplished revenue raiser.
The 3 Capes Track and the Overland Track have both been used as examples of successful 'eco tour glamping style' experiences in a proposal by Tourism WA for private huts and increased infrastructure along the Cape to Cape Track in the South West of W.A.
Anybody who thinks the issue of commercialization and privatization of National parks is a local issue is kidding themselves. Its a national disease.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Sun 26 Jan, 2020 5:36 pm

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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 27 Jan, 2020 8:57 am

On my first trips to the WOJ and South Coast Track about 40 years ago the tracks were very muddy and quite unpleasant.
Mud track.png

The aim should be to get the balance right so that the appeal of the region is lost. Quite a few years ago there was conjecture that the rough track from the car park to Trappers Hut was to dissuade the bumbly walker. Steep, rough, wet, overgrown ... maybe they will turn back here. If numbers are such that there is adverse impact at Dixons Kingdom and elsewhere, then remedies are needed. Three Capes, private huts and the like are not the answer.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Rexyviney36 » Fri 31 Jan, 2020 5:38 am

On Monday I met a walker before the track starts going ‘up’ - full pack, told me he was doing a three night circuit, wearing thongs. Wasn’t concerned in the slightest.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Gimped » Fri 31 Jan, 2020 8:24 am

I think more toilets are needed in the high traffic areas.
Lake Ball comes to mind, and the northern end of Meston.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Mon 03 Feb, 2020 9:07 am

Lophophaps wrote: Quite a few years ago there was conjecture that the rough track from the car park to Trappers Hut was to dissuade the bumbly walker. Steep, rough, wet, overgrown ... maybe they will turn back here. If numbers are such that there is adverse impact at Dixons Kingdom and elsewhere, then remedies are needed. Three Capes, private huts and the like are not the answer.


The idea of fixing the most remote and leaving the access less developed is clearly dead and burried at WoJ. The carpark is unrecognisable and the Mersey road to there looks set to be paved (judging by it's upgraded condition). These works don't look like they are intended to deal with any natural increase in numbers, rather more urban planning- establishing a theme park.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 03 Feb, 2020 1:05 pm

I have not been on the Mersey Road or the WOJ for several years. That time the road was wide, well graded and generally free of potholes. The carpark was small, maybe 25 cars, with forest looming on all sides, quite nice. I cannot see the justification of upgrading the road. If the carpark is crowded then maybe make it bigger, or carve another one just below the current carpark. If the visitor numbers or environmental degradation justify it then slowly increase infrastructure. This may mean an extra tent site at Wild Dog Creek or replacing rotted boardwalks. Quantum infrastructure jumps are ill advised as too often this destroys the very qualities that attract visitors. Halls Island is an extreme example of this.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 03 Feb, 2020 1:12 pm

The road was improved a little when they had to rebuild substantial sections of it following the 2016 floods (took a LONG time to get the road open again after that, made even longer since they also took advantage of the road closure to replace one of the dodgy bridges which had not been wrecked by the floods). I haven't noticed if it was improved further again after this.

The car park upgrade was necessary. The last time I visited the Walls before the new car park, there were cars parked on the edge of the road for several hundred metres below the car park due to the car park being full. It was quite dangerous trying to get a car park there, and hoping my car didn't end up side-swiped by another driver struggling to get their car in/out while I was away walking.
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Re: Walls Of Jerusalem Redevelopments- RAA

Postby Nuts » Mon 03 Feb, 2020 3:16 pm

'Necessary', like Minimal, beautiful yet illusive. Anyway, I doubt there's a lot that could be left alone that would slow the numbers of determined visitors. About the only turn-off now would be when that carpark and overflow fill up, yet bigger carparks?, Locked out or 'The Cathedral Circuit" first?
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