The Nationals State Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to improve the condition of walking tracks and roads inside state forests and national parks.
Mr O’Brien said locals, visitors and local businesses that rely on tourism are being let down by the government’s failure to ensure these tracks and roads are properly maintained and accessible.
“I understand that we have had a wet year but many of the tracks and roads inside our national parks are deplorable and there really is no excuse for allowing them to get to this condition,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Most recently I have been contacted by locals concerned for the deteriorating condition of roads within the Lakes National Park which provide the only access route to Point Wilson/Sperm Whale Head when travelling from Loch Sport.
“I took a drive along this road myself recently and didn’t have to drive too long before I was forced to slow to a crawl due to the condition of the road.”
Mr O’Brien said he had also been contacted by concerned locals about the lack of maintenance on beach access tracks across Gippsland.
“The tourism industry in Gippsland is slowly starting to recover from bushfires, pandemic travel restrictions and flood so poor track maintenance really is the last thing the region needs.
“Some of Gippsland’s local walking tracks and tracks that provide access to public land are maintained by volunteer community groups and I am extremely grateful for all they do, but the government needs to step-up and do more to establish and support these groups.
“We need public land to be accessible to the public and the state of some of our tracks does make you wonder if the government wants that at all.
“I have written to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change seeking action and will continue to advocate for better maintenance.”