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Adelaide Bushwalkers Response to Draft Walking Strategy for Kakadu

We responded to the Australian Government's consultation on the Draft Walking Strategy for Kakadu.

Consultation on Walking Strategy

We responded to the Australian Government’s consultation on the Draft Walking Strategy for Kakadu.

The draft Walking Strategy has been produced for Kakadu to provide a basis for a consistent and sustainable approach to the planning, development, management and promotion of walking opportunities within the park.

The purpose of the Walking Strategy for Kakadu is to identify new bushwalking opportunities, track upgrades for visitors with physical impairments, ensure management and protection of cultural sites, look at unique business and employment opportunities for local Indigenous people (guided walks), and investigate new systems for permitting systems for overnight bushwalking and methods for providing pre-visit and on-site information.

View Strategy Summary | View Full Strategy

Tour operator, Willis Walkabouts, feared that bushwalking access to the unique area may be lost forever. View their response.

Our Response

20 March 2015

Review of Draft Walking Strategy for Kakadu

Dear Sir,

Adelaide Bushwalkers (ABW), a club based in Adelaide with 200 members respectfully wishes to make a make submission regarding the new strategy for Kakadu. The aspects of our response are:

  • ABW members have walked in the Kakadu region both self-organised and with commercial walking organisations for many years.
  • Kakadu is a region held in high esteem nationally and thus the comments by all Australians can be valuable to its governance and protection.
  • It is concerning that several investigations and reports have been made on the Kakadu region though the governance of Kakadu seems to be perpetually fore-stalled by even more reviews.
  • Being interstate visitors our specific interest in walking in Kakadu is as overnight walkers; anything from 2 to 14 days with our own camping and catering and usually without any outside help or guiding. For most people, a trip to NT is a major commitment.
  • It seems that restrictions contemplated for walking in regions of Kakadu are to ameliorate the potential damage by a large number of day walkers.
    • We acknowledge that day walkers are more numerous, travel more kilometres per person in 4WDs and other vehicles and thus have a greater impact on the area per person than overnight walkers.
    • We firmly believe that overnight walkers are generally more respectful of cultural, botanical and human impact issues than day walkers. Our motto is “leave no trace”.
    • We need certainty of access to interesting areas to go to the trouble of travelling to and supporting ourselves in NT.
    • For these reasons, we ask that overnight walkers not be assumed to be as detrimental to the environment as day walkers.
  • We acknowledge that there are many locations that need to be protected from physical and cultural damage for the future. We are happy to abide by “no-go” areas so long as these leave us with interesting places to visit during extended walking visits.
  • Kakadu needs to be managed but over-regulation and fragmented management will reduce its appeal as a venue for overnight walkers who are among its most ardent supporters.
  • A specific request from ABW is that the Gubara area to be left open to 2-day walks.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Proctor
Adelaide Bushwalkers Inc.

Categories: Reponse to Consultation

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