Three years after the Orroral Valley bushfire burned 80 per cent of Namadgi National Park, a $6 million federal grant will go towards continued recovery efforts in the area.
The newly announced funding will kickstart projects including road repairs and upgrades, an accessible loop trail around the Visitor Information Centre and culturally appropriate and respectful upgrades to the Yankee Hut Walk.
The ACT Government said the latter would be achieved by working closely with the Ngunnawal community.
Other projects that will begin include a new, extended walking track along Honeysuckle Ridge through the Granite Tors and around the Orroral Geodetic Observatory and the commemoration and interpretation of two heritage-listed Stockman’s Huts that were destroyed by fire.
The ACT Government last month went out for community consultation on how those huts should be either rebuilt or commemorated after they were destroyed in the 2020 blaze.
Last, upgrades to the Booroomba, Gibraltar Falls and Woods Reserve visitor precincts will be undertaken.
Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said the recovery efforts in the park were now shifting as up until now they had been focused on environmental restoration and infrastructure recovery.
“Getting the flora, fauna and other ecological assets harmed by the fire back on track was the critical first step because of the important role they play in the ecological balance of the park,” Mr Gentleman said.
“With more than 70 kilometres of walking track impacted by the fires, we’re continuing to focus on ensuring Canberrans can get back to safely enjoying all that Namadgi has to offer.”
Mr Gentleman said work on the projects was expected to get underway in 2024 and would focus on improving fire trails and roads, walking tracks, accessibility and visitor experiences in the park, building resilience to the impacts of climate change and reconnecting traditional owners with Country.
“The ACT Government’s recovery and restoration works have enabled the majority of walking tracks to be reopened, including the increasingly popular Mount Tennent walk,” he said.
“The significant bog and fen restoration, catchment stabilisation and invasive weed and feral animal control programs required in the fire’s aftermath is also showing fantastic results.
“Most species appear to have recolonised impacted areas and we are seeing strong growth of most fire-affected tree species and saplings.
“I thank the Australian Government for recognising the importance of conservation and recreation at Namadgi National Park and their ongoing support.”
Member for Bean David Smith said these projects would make a real difference on the ground.
“Namadgi is a special place for our community,” Mr Smith said. ”It has significant value for local First Nations people and for all those Canberrans that love nature.”
More information about Namadgi National Park and our other parks and reserves can be found on the ACT Parks website.