The Walls of Jerusalem are located in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, on the edge of the Central Plateau. It is a wild and inspiring place, that has relatively easy access via walking tracks and stunning rocky peaks and alpine lakes.
It is a hugely popular hiking destination and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service has been trying to find the right balance between building track infrastructure to reduce walker impact and keeping the wild nature of the Walls.
There are now plans for additional walker infrastructure and there is an opportunity to make a submission about these proposals.
The Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA) reports that:
The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has recently called for public comment on a Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) for the construction of several public infrastructure proposals for walkers within the Walls of Jerusalem. The three key proposals are:
- Construction of a major new campsite with tent platforms and toilets located around 300m south-east of Dixons Kingdom hut to replace the current camping in this area.
- Consolidation of the multiple braided ‘tracks’ down Jaffa Vale from Dixons Kingdom to Lake Ball into a single hardened track.
- Additional capacity (tent platforms) at Wild Dog Creek campsite.
The proposals are consistent with the 2013 Recreation Zone Plan (RZP) for the area, and the TNPA strongly supports most of them. But the proposals implement only selected components of the package of related recommendations of the RZP – all infrastructure based – while PWS shows no sign of acknowledging or addressing the crucial other component – managing visitor numbers.
The TNPA say:
‘Unfortunately there is no sign of any serious consideration of managing visitor numbers. The RAA provides no data on current or anticipated visitor numbers; it is not even apparent how the proposed toilet capacity or number of tent platforms to be provided at each location was determined. Anecdotal evidence tells of such a serious shortage of campsites at Wild Dog Creek during Christmas 2019 and into early 2020 that even the number of additional tent platforms proposed in the RAA would not have been anywhere near sufficient. Without some form of active control of visitor numbers the aim of protecting sites from increasing visitor environmental impacts cannot be achieved in the long-term’.
Additional information from the TNPA is available here.
You could make a submission to the document here. You can read the full document at the link above and find details on where to send your submission.
It can be simple: just explain whether you support this new infrastructure and suggest that the PWS also develop a process to manage visitor numbers within the Walls area.
All written submissions on the RAA must be received by 23:59 AEST on 10 th February 2020.