Save Ginninderra Falls!

QbynGentleman 30 November 2010 21

Ginninderra Falls

Ginninderra Falls are in danger!

Years ago I spent time at a beautiful swimming spot at Ginninderra Falls – the bigger of only two decent waterfalls near Canberra (the other being Gibraltar falls). It was also a great spot for rock climbing, abseiling, canoing, etc.

I was aware that the private land owner (Mr John Hyles) had sclosed Ginninderra Falls to public access several years ago due to a number of reasons (see previous RiotAct posts). The passing of Mr Hyles’ father, the disrespectful littering of the property by some visitors, and public liability insurance costs seem to be the three main reasons, and fair enough.

I am however, dismayed to have discovered today that Mr John Hyles is seeking to expand a quarry operation on the property that may endanger the falls being opened for public benefit ever again (see the Stateline story). 

Apparently there is a development proposal before the Yass Shire Council at this very moment that may make that very call in/about January 2011.

Despite being closed at the moment, the falls could readily be made accessible to the public at a future point if the land remained in its current form. The proposed changes pose a real risk to Canberrans and other nearby residents ever seeing them again!

Having been to the falls after rain in past years, I know how beautiful the site is when the falls are in full force. With all the rain we have had lately I’m sure it is spectacular right now, and I think it is a travesty that the fact it is on private NSW land means that nearby citizens can’t access this wonderful site, and that it is in danger.

I will be contacting Yass Shire Council to voice my concerns (Council@yass.nsw.gov.au) and I urge as many people as possible to do the same.

I also think the ACT Government should do more to ensure that Canberrans are able to access the site and its wonderful offerings!


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21 Responses to Save Ginninderra Falls!
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Loopholes Loopholes 5:43 pm 03 Dec 10

Furthermore, it seems that the original message in the posting has been lost in the discussion of access to the falls.

It is already environmentally zoned!!!!! This is NOT stopping the owner from MINING IT!!!!! What is the point of discussing how to access the area, or whether to leave the owner alone if he is mining an area which was zoned specifically to protect it?

Who has called Yass Valley as the original posting called us all to do? You may find this is above their heads without public support to save the area. Come on guys, do something about it –

p1 p1 1:04 pm 02 Dec 10

progress said :

Come on, please.
There are so many beautiful places around here, around Australia, maybe even your own back yard is beautiful! If it is, (imagine) does it give me the right to it, to walk on it, to sleep on it? Where is your common sense? We either respect property rights or not? After all we have had 200+ years to carve out beautiful places, so they are available to the public, that is why we have so many fantastic national and state parks in Australia. Leave the land owner alone, and for those of you that at one time in the past had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place, be grateful!

Generally speaking I agree with you. Let me, however, address a couple of your points.

After all we have had 200+ years to carve out beautiful places, so they are available to the public, that is why we have so many fantastic national and state parks in Australia.

Didn’t those become National Parks by people wanting them preserved and available to all, and getting them declared as such?

And what we are discussing is the fact that it used to be available to all, and now it isn’t. While there are many places of equal or greater value in Australia, their are not many places around Canberra which have a large waterfall, swimming, canoeeing, rock climbing and the like in one location five minutes drive from my house.

progress progress 6:44 pm 01 Dec 10

Come on, please.
There are so many beautiful places around here, around Australia, maybe even your own back yard is beautiful! If it is, (imagine) does it give me the right to it, to walk on it, to sleep on it? Where is your common sense? We either respect property rights or not? After all we have had 200+ years to carve out beautiful places, so they are available to the public, that is why we have so many fantastic national and state parks in Australia. Leave the land owner alone, and for those of you that at one time in the past had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place, be grateful!

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 5:58 pm 01 Dec 10

Someone should slap a heritage listing application on the falls to see what happens.

Loopholes Loopholes 2:26 pm 01 Dec 10

Absolutely true p1. Think about it – in this day and age, everyone is scared of being sued. It’s easier for a council to be over – ridden and stay under the radar, especially if few of it’s rate payers actually see the area. If a tree falls in the forrest and no – one sees it, did it really fall?

But try talking to your ACT members about it. I bet bet bet they tell you it’s a NSW issue.

p1 p1 2:18 pm 01 Dec 10

Loopholes said :

No Baloney, it’s all well to say you can get there by going up the river. Too bad there won’t be much to see but erosion if the surrounding environmentally zoned area is mined. Wait for this guy to over – ride a little council by looking for loopholes in state planning legislation. There’s always a way when money’s involved and people don’t question or take action.

In addition to this, the fact that the only road access passes through the ACT, means that the Yass council really doesn’t care that much for that bit of the world. At least it seems that way to me. Maybe the ACT could make some sort of deal with the owner to take the land with the falls in exchange for some land somewhere else?

Loopholes Loopholes 2:07 pm 01 Dec 10

No Baloney, it’s all well to say you can get there by going up the river. Too bad there won’t be much to see but erosion if the surrounding environmentally zoned area is mined. Wait for this guy to over – ride a little council by looking for loopholes in state planning legislation. There’s always a way when money’s involved and people don’t question or take action.

p1 p1 12:32 pm 01 Dec 10

Oddly, google maps shows something called Ginninderra Park, although it doesn’t seem to follow the exact property boundaries.

dtc dtc 11:44 am 01 Dec 10

There was at least one death and one broken neck that I know about, although the broken neck recovered relatively well. Mostly people climbing to the top of those falls, off the path, through a fence and past the warning signs.

If you want a nice waterhole, come and check out the big hole in the ground where the next Unilodge is being built (Barry Drive/Marcus Clarke St).

Brindabella Brindabella 10:51 am 01 Dec 10

I used to go there a lot. Camping, fishing, bushwalking and climbing. Good memories. My brother and I nearly killed ourselves climbing up some cliffs one day. Dangerous stuff. I can see how liability insurance would be a factor in places like these.

They used to hire canoes at the river.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 9:48 am 01 Dec 10

The concept is simple and not hard to follow. You can visit the falls, you just need to go up the creek, as the watercourse is open to all. However, you cannot cross the private land that surrounds the watercourse without permission. So this baloney about Saving the Falls is just that, bollocks and all. If the falls mean that much to you, put the effort in and go up the creek from the nearest accessible point. If that’s too hard, perhaps look at your whinge factor, it might be higher than you think.

That said, I believe the onus is on the Shire Council to consider the impact on the watercourse and by implication the falls when assessing the application to mine the red gravel resource. They may take the view that although the falls are enclosed by private land they have particular significance for the community, and plonk some extra conditions on the mining application as a result.

Just thank your lucky stars we didn’t inherit the system of the mother country, where entire stretches of rivers are privately owned and there’s no legal access period.

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 7:35 am 01 Dec 10

Looks like a top place – Too bad whining on the Riot ACT won’t get anything done about it.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 7:11 am 01 Dec 10

Only been there once, back when it was “pay-per-view”, but it was a lovely place.

Some decent looking climbing routes there, though most had been bolted into submission.

p1 p1 10:21 pm 30 Nov 10

Oh, and if people ’round Canberra stop buying heaps of ginnenderra red gravel, maybe he won’t need to enlarge the quarry.

p1 p1 10:17 pm 30 Nov 10

Pork Hunt said :

How does he deny access to the falls? Does he “own” the river?

Pretty much, yes. He controls all access. I suppose you could canoe up the creek?

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 8:54 pm 30 Nov 10

How does he deny access to the falls? Does he “own” the river?

Disposable Disposable 8:27 pm 30 Nov 10

eh_steve said :

The waterfall between that waterhole and the lower one was great to slide down.

AKA the bum slide.

Looking at that picture makes me realise just how dodgy that cliff is that we used to climb down. It didn’t seem so bad when I was 16.

eh_steve eh_steve 7:04 pm 30 Nov 10

I spent many a weekend out there jumping off the cliffs, although we definitely followed the leave only footprints philosophy. The waterfall between that waterhole and the lower one was great to slide down.

It would be sad to see it lost.

Thumper Thumper 7:03 pm 30 Nov 10

Too bad the boozed up bogans moved in and trashed the place

No, it was more the owner and a reluctance to keep it open.

Sad, it’s a wonderful place and could be a national tourist attraction.

schmeah schmeah 6:19 pm 30 Nov 10

wow – it sounds like I missed out an visiting a beautiful part of the region. Too bad the boozed up bogans moved in and trashed the place – perhaps without them, the falls might still be opened, and a public response to any plans to expand a quarry operation would be met with resounding disapproval.

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