Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

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Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby AnthonyRizz » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 1:04 pm

Hi, I'm not sure if anyone here walks the trail in the lower Blue Mountains from Greens Road, Warrimoo out into the National Park (awesome walk, just follow the road out until you get to the big cliffs with views down into Glenbrook creek, across to Bunyan and Martin's lookouts, then turn back or follow one of the numerous singletracks to god knows where) BUT the trail is accessed via a Crown Lands road which is currently under proposal to be closed to the public and sold to a private landowner (who has supposedly tried blocking public access by erecting a few illegal fences and signs over the years). There is no other access to this spectacular (for the lower mtns anyway) ridge unless you go via Florabella Pass which makes it A LOT harder and almost impossible for anyone with health issues.

At this stage the closure and sale is only a proposal so it can be objected to but this must be done before Nov 18th. The Crown Lands management take into account the public interest for recreational activities at sites like this so I hope some folks here will help keep it open to the public by writing a submission to the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment - Crown Lands.
The submission needs to note the reference and cluster numbers which are:

File ref: 19/08762, Cluster: 612819

Email your submission to renee.daymond@crownland.nsw.gov.au
or hard copy to Department of Planning, Industry & Environment - Crown Lands, PO Box 2215, DANGAR NSW 2309

More info on the proposal is availabe by heading to https://roads.crownland.nsw.gov.au/ and searching 'Warrimoo'

its a great short walk that has been enjoyed by locals for a long time, was hoping to keep it nice and quiet :wink: but now that it's under threat we need all the help we can get, so please make a submission to help keep it open to the public!
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby Allchin09 » Tue 10 Nov, 2020 8:30 pm

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I generally try and monitor these across the state but must have missed this one. I've now made a submission.

Interesting that the notice contains suggests an easement for NPWS access. Maybe that could be expanded for the general public to access the park, but then again, I guess that's the purpose of a public road!

Crown roads at Warrimoo, within 32 Green Road, proposed for closure and sale conditional upon easement for NPWS access for park management if the roads are approved for sale
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby DavidB » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 8:43 am

Thanks for the tip off. Definitely will be lodging an objection. If they do sell it then a condition of the sale is to retain an easement for public access to the park.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby tastrax » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 10:10 am

I suspect the access may not be public access...."....NPWS access for park management"
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Fri 13 Nov, 2020 12:30 pm

Anthony, thanks so much for letting us know about this.

I'm a Springwood local and have definitely walked out Greens Road to the stunning lookout. I'll be making a submission.

Interesting to note that another proposed road closure in the Blue Mountains, in Bullaburra, includes a specific easement for bushwalkers (https://roads.crownland.nsw.gov.au/road ... =644525790). It specifically states that "An easement to maintain bushwalking access to the National Park and NPWS vehicular access for management purposes is proposed over existing tracks, if the road is approved for sale." I think it is reasonable that the same easement be provided for Greens Road.

I know the block of land Greens Road runs through was sold in the last couple years, and a DA has gone through for the construction of a house, so I imagine that's the motivation to shut off public access.

I actually popped out there yesterday afternoon to check out the current situation, and remind myself of how stunning the lookout at the end is. I noticed that 4WDs have been illegally accessing the park, which may also be motivating the closure. They have forced their way around the upper gate, and the lower NPWS has been cut with an angle grinder. There are fresh 4WD tracks the whole way out into the national park, including on sensitive rock platforms where damage is occurring.

Given the above, I'm also going to be writing to NPWS asking them to advocate for continued bushwalking access, along with undertaking urgent repairs to the gate to stop illegal vehicle access.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Fri 13 Nov, 2020 12:39 pm

Alex, do you mind sharing your submission? I know you regularly write submissions on these matters so would be good to use as a template.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby GregG » Fri 13 Nov, 2020 1:16 pm

AnthonyRizz wrote:
its a great short walk that has been enjoyed by locals for a long time, was hoping to keep it nice and quiet :wink: but now that it's under threat we need all the help we can get, so please make a submission to help keep it open to the public!

Thanks for this tip off Anthony, I just sent off a submission.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby tom_brennan » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 8:00 am

Submission attached if anyone wants to appropriate bits. Though I'd suggest you tweak/reword so that it's clear these are independent submissions.
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CL612819 - Warrimoo - redacted.pdf
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Last edited by tom_brennan on Tue 17 Nov, 2020 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 17 Nov, 2020 5:01 pm

I've made a submission to Crown Lands. I've also emailed NPWS asking what they are doing to protecting ongoing bushwalking access to that part of Blue Mountains NP.

I actually wrote up a detailed blog post providing more info on this area. As well as sharing some photos of how stunning it is, I wanted to outline the threat to access, what people can do about it, and the underlying issues that may be behind it.

https://fatcanyoners.org/2020/11/17/gre ... hreatened/
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby johnw » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 11:05 am

tom_brennan wrote:Submission attached if anyone wants to appropriate bits. Though I'd suggest you tweak/reword so that it's clear these are independent submissions.
FatCanyoner wrote:I've made a submission to Crown Lands. I've also emailed NPWS asking what they are doing to protecting ongoing bushwalking access to that part of Blue Mountains NP.

I actually wrote up a detailed blog post providing more info on this area. As well as sharing some photos of how stunning it is, I wanted to outline the threat to access, what people can do about it, and the underlying issues that may be behind it.

https://fatcanyoners.org/2020/11/17/gre ... hreatened/

Thanks guys, I managed to get a short submission off last night.
I've walked most of that general area more than once, albeit not that familiar with the Greens Road section.
Definitely need to visit there and also try the link back to the Florabella Pass (where I've previously found things of interest not on the current map).
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby GregG » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 5:08 pm

I walked out to the Greens Road (sic) lookout this afternoon just to remind myself what an enjoyable walk this is and to exercise my right of way while I still can. The NPWS gate was wide open and still broken and heavy vehicles had clearly been over the the track earlier in the day, although I saw no one else while I was there. The panoramas from the rock platform and rock spires at end of the track are quite impressive with views down into Glenbrook Creek and with the three lookouts of Martins, Bunyan and Lost World on on the far side of the creek valley. Lots of wildflowers out. I walked part way down the link track to the Florabella track but it is a much steeper slog than the relatively easy walk in from Greens Road and is a much harder way to access this part of the park. Greens Road is without any shadow of doubt well worth saving for public pedestrian access. Here are a few pictures from today's walk.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 10:04 pm

Greg, I took almost identical photos when I was out there the other day, right down to that lovely purple triggerplant (Stylidium) next to the rock. How good are the flannel flowers at the moment!

I just thought I'd share a comment seen on Facebook. Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said he is writing to the State Government on behalf of council objecting to this sale. A great outcome.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby GregG » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 10:43 pm

Yes FC, I looked at your web site after I made that post and realised I had taken almost identical pictures to the ones you already had up. Sorry about that !!! Well, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery but quite honesty I guess we both recognise something worth photographing when we see it. Anyway, it is good to hear that Mayor Greenhill has taken up the cause, I hope common sense prevails. Years ago land at the southern end of Wright Street in Glenbrook was sold off for housing development, thus blocking access to the Blue Pool track that had been enjoyed by local people for generations. It would be a shame to see that kind of mindlessly bad planning repeated.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby johnw » Sat 12 Dec, 2020 8:12 pm

Having made a submission to Crown Lands I finally got around to doing this walk today. It is definitely a small gem that should have bushwalking access to it preserved. I took a bunch of photos which I haven't had time to upload yet, mostly similar views to Greg and Tim. If I get time before Christmas I may write up a small trip report with a few of them. I am pleased to report that the NPWS access gate is now closed and locked. The lock appears new and intact. I also took the branching trail to the link with the Florabella Pass. I partly descended it before deciding to leave it for another day when I have more time and I'm better prepared. Walking solo, I only had minimal gear with me today and it's a short distance but into a fairly steep gorge. I also noticed some other trails and pads branching off the main routes that may be interesting to explore another time.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby GregG » Mon 14 Dec, 2020 2:27 pm

Onya John. Did you find the three series BMW? Hopefully the gate now locked will stop further despoilation of this beautiful place.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby johnw » Mon 14 Dec, 2020 5:53 pm

GregG wrote:Onya John. Did you find the three series BMW? Hopefully the gate now locked will stop further despoilation of this beautiful place.

I missed that Greg, or it's been moved. Inside the NP the bush was very clean with no evidence of rubbish that I could see. I did find what looks like some sort of wood shed near the start.
The only real negative was a few vehicle tyre marks around the smooth rock slab at the end of the FT near the lookout/s. Too small for 4WD, likely illegal motorcycle activity, which is hard to contain.
Smaller ones could possibly get under the gate or just find a way through the bush.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 15 Dec, 2020 9:58 am

John, great news about the new lock on the gate. I think it's an example of the squeaky wheel getting the oil, with NPWS responding to the flurry of community concern. Hopefully this one lasts longer and resolves the issue of illegal access.

I'm still waiting on any formal word from NPWS or Crown Lands. So far all I've had is emails confirming my emails were received and that I'd get a response in future.

I was contacted by a friend who owns a bush block elsewhere in the mountains recently who had a similar NPWS gate destroyed last month. By the sounds of things an angle grinder was used to cut parts of it, before a 4WD ripped the rest out of the ground. A lot of effort to go to given that gate only prevents vehicles driving about 700m! They're now looking to install a motion detecting camera to try and catch them in the act once the gate is replaced.

It seems someone with an ideological hatred of anyone restricting where they can drive their 4WD is actively attacking these gates in the Blue Mountains. People definitely need to be vigilant and report this vandalism to NPWS as soon as it's seen.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby johnw » Tue 15 Dec, 2020 7:56 pm

FatCanyoner wrote:I'm still waiting on any formal word from NPWS or Crown Lands. So far all I've had is emails confirming my emails were received and that I'd get a response in future.

Yes, I received an acknowledgement from Crown Lands on lodging my submission but no communication since.

FatCanyoner wrote:It seems someone with an ideological hatred of anyone restricting where they can drive their 4WD is actively attacking these gates in the Blue Mountains. People definitely need to be vigilant and report this vandalism to NPWS as soon as it's seen.

Sadly I've often heard similar stories of locks being destroyed etc. Also if people see anyone in the act of doing such things please report it to the police immediately.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby north-north-west » Wed 16 Dec, 2020 8:17 am

johnw wrote:
FatCanyoner wrote:It seems someone with an ideological hatred of anyone restricting where they can drive their 4WD is actively attacking these gates in the Blue Mountains. People definitely need to be vigilant and report this vandalism to NPWS as soon as it's seen.

Sadly I've often heard similar stories of locks being destroyed etc. Also if people see anyone in the act of doing such things please report it to the police immediately.


Just don't let them see you taking notes of their rego numbers etc. Especially if they're shooters ...
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby tom_brennan » Wed 16 Dec, 2020 10:41 am

johnw wrote:
FatCanyoner wrote:I'm still waiting on any formal word from NPWS or Crown Lands. So far all I've had is emails confirming my emails were received and that I'd get a response in future.

Yes, I received an acknowledgement from Crown Lands on lodging my submission but no communication since.


I successfully objected to the sale of a Crown road a few years back.

It took around 5 months from submission to outcome, so don't hold your breath!!
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby johnw » Wed 16 Dec, 2020 9:26 pm

tom_brennan wrote:
johnw wrote:
FatCanyoner wrote:I'm still waiting on any formal word from NPWS or Crown Lands. So far all I've had is emails confirming my emails were received and that I'd get a response in future.

Yes, I received an acknowledgement from Crown Lands on lodging my submission but no communication since.


I successfully objected to the sale of a Crown road a few years back.

It took around 5 months from submission to outcome, so don't hold your breath!!

I worked with government agencies for 14 years before retiring last year, so my expectations are aligned with inside experience :roll:.
Good that your previous effort had a positive outcome Tom, let's hope this one goes the same way.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 01 Jun, 2021 11:24 am

FYI, I thought I'd touch base with Crown Lands to see if there was any update.

There's been no decision made about this application.

I got the usual vague response regarding the timing / next steps: "Each submission is carefully assessed with many factors taken into consideration before a determination is made whether to sell a road."

A friend who has been on the other side of the fence, seeking to purchase a crown road under this same scheme, said it took him about seven years...
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby FatCanyoner » Wed 02 Jun, 2021 11:02 am

In good news, I just had a call from National Parks.

They confirmed that their Reserve Access team is currently working with the property owners on a solution that will support ongoing access by bushwalkers and mountain bikers along this trail. The aim is to create a legal easement ensuring ongoing recreational access for these minimal-impact uses, while preventing dirt bikes, 4wds, and dumpers from driving through their land.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby jrg » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 12:32 pm

FatCanyoner wrote:In good news, I just had a call from National Parks.

They confirmed that their Reserve Access team is currently working with the property owners on a solution that will support ongoing access by bushwalkers and mountain bikers along this trail. The aim is to create a legal easement ensuring ongoing recreational access for these minimal-impact uses, while preventing dirt bikes, 4wds, and dumpers from driving through their land.


Thanks for the update. Sounds like that would be a really good outcome if it works out. There have been other access blockages by private owners in recent times so hopefully it does not end up that way.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby johnw » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 8:59 pm

Yes, thanks for the follow up and updates Tim. I think my concern as well would be that any arrangement with landowners must provide for permanent access, i.e. it can't be withdrawn on a whim in future, such as when property changes hands. Best that any access corridor (assuming that's the solution) becomes part of the NP and entry to it for appropriate uses can never be restricted.
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby Allchin09 » Sun 06 Jun, 2021 11:25 pm

FatCanyoner wrote:In good news, I just had a call from National Parks.

They confirmed that their Reserve Access team is currently working with the property owners on a solution that will support ongoing access by bushwalkers and mountain bikers along this trail. The aim is to create a legal easement ensuring ongoing recreational access for these minimal-impact uses, while preventing dirt bikes, 4wds, and dumpers from driving through their land.


Great, this is what we want to hear! I feel like us bushwalkers need to get more engaged with this reserve access team :)
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby YoungCodger » Tue 29 Jun, 2021 10:18 am

FatCanyoner wrote:...National Parks...working with the property owners on a solution that will support ongoing access by bushwalkers and mountain bikers...


Fantastic!

For any keen scramblers, finding one's way up to the Greens Rd lookout from Glenbrook Creek is one of the most fun miniature route-finding problems in the lower mountains. Here is a (useless) GPX for reference, but note that you'll need common sense and patience. You'll see the odd cairn when you're on the safest route. Grippy shoes and confidence required https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1603616
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Re: Lower Blue Mountains trail under threat of closure

Postby GregG » Tue 29 Jun, 2021 4:43 pm

That's all very well YC but plotaroute says that the page is private and can only be accessed by it owner, so ..... ?
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