Mount Warning Closure.

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Mount Warning Closure.

Postby duncanm » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 8:20 am

Worth a read. I do wonder what NPWS NSW's objectives actually are, sometimes.

https://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/ ... on-mt.html
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby johnrs » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 9:08 am

Only closed while the cable car and mountaintop accomodation is being constructed.
Same approval process as Barrangaroo.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby wander » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 9:37 am

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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 10:22 am

Not sure if relevant to the disappointing but typical mt warning closure (though who knows) but really does seem that the only people that matter in NSW are developers.

Did they get issued first class citizen badges while the rest of us got resident certicates stating..

'Suck it up! Our site noise and barely livable constructed communities are good for you little ant'

And oh yeah.. and heres a donation to 'liberals for a healthy earth' to make up for all the trees and animals we squashed.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby CBee » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 10:25 am

This is a heavily trafficked tourist track, with an inadeguate carpark for the volume of daily visits. An easy gradient manicured track, with helicopter extraction emergency points, steps, chains, rails, platforms etc. To me, recently, has become very unattractive for a bushwalking point of view (and my own mental sanity). On weekends, is a constant procession of people of any age, fitness and morals, since the early hours. On my last visit, I had to wait three times: the first one, half way up, for a girl to finish pooing on the track, the second time a 10 minutes wait at the beginning of the chain section and on the top I also had to wait in line to reach the rail for a summit view. On the way down rescue was on duty, to take back someone who has fainted. In saying all this, this "hike" is absolutely one of the safest thing you can do on any given day, so be careful when you read stuff on the net...
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby jonnosan » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 12:07 pm

The summit is very culturally significant to the local Bundjalung people, and they have been campaigning for a long time to have that connection respected and for the summit climb to be closed. Hopefully some alternative spots will be developed soon for the easy sight seers to walk on. For those who prefer a bit more adventure in their bushwalks, there are lots of other areas nearby that can be explored without feeling you are disrespecting the local indigenous communities.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby north-north-west » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 2:27 pm

duncanm wrote: I do wonder what NPWS NSW's objectives actually are, sometimes.


The main objective of any National Parks and Wildlife Service is supposed to be the protection and preservation of the environment. This is often in conflict with what many people (erroneously) see as their inalienable "right of access".
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby Warin » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 2:40 pm

duncanm wrote: I do wonder what NPWS NSW's objectives actually are, sometimes.


Some years ago NSW had 'State Recreation Areas' who's purpose was to enable the people of NSW to 'recreate'. These areas have been incorporated into the NPWS NSW. I would hope that these areas primary purpose remains that of people recreation with other purposes being secondary.

Australia’s first national park — (now Royal) National Park — was originally formed to address public health concerns about overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in large cities.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby duncanm » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 12:49 pm

Warin wrote:
duncanm wrote: I do wonder what NPWS NSW's objectives actually are, sometimes.


Some years ago NSW had 'State Recreation Areas' who's purpose was to enable the people of NSW to 'recreate'. These areas have been incorporated into the NPWS NSW. I would hope that these areas primary purpose remains that of people recreation with other purposes being secondary.

Australia’s first national park — (now Royal) National Park — was originally formed to address public health concerns about overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in large cities.


that's the thing.

Its fine to have reserves specifically for preservation.... but NPWS has been handed SRA's, state forests and other chunks of crown land where access was previously well established, and much of their activity seems to be to limit access, rather than encourage it.

Per the NPWS Act, part of their remit is fostering public appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of nature and cultural heritage and their conservation,

Mt Warning itself is a problem - given the previous traffic density. Closing it and the surrounding area is not necessarily the best solution.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby tom_brennan » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 8:41 pm

Warin wrote:Some years ago NSW had 'State Recreation Areas' ...


Now State Conservation Areas...
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 22 Feb, 2021 10:41 am

Just to run a counter argument, but perhaps a closure of Mt Warning for cultural reasons is long overdue.

How many of us would scramble up St Mary's Cathedral because it offers great harbour views, or climb the War Memorial in Canberra?

Just because access has been longstanding, doesn't necessarily mean it should continue. Just because Indigenous heritage and culture has been treated with contempt for the last two centuries doesn't mean we should be aiming to do better.

I feel like too many outdoor people have a view that I should be able to go where I want, when I want, and how dare anyone restrict my recreational pursuits.

It might be frustrating to have areas that are "off limits", but not doing things that others ask you not to do is part of being a respectful member of society.

Most of us wouldn't go wandering through someone's private property, and we wouldn't want strangers jumping our back fence. We understand that some places are off limits, both from a legal perspective, and because we respect other people's property.

I think it's about time we as a community extended that same level of respect to First Nations people. If they say certain places, with deep spiritual and cultural significance should be off limits, basic human decency says we should respect that.

We (by which I mean non-Indigenous people) have been very bad at this for a very long time. We can, and should, aim to do better in the future.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 12:33 pm

The closure of Mt Warning does not stand up to any scrutiny and just about every NSW NPWS say about it is a falsehood. They probably have the height wrong.

The safety claims are nonsense. FOI docs show NPWS made an error in providing risk information - the walk even without the chain has a similar risk rating - medium - as any other grade 4-5 walk in the state. It is an easy 4km walk on a well graded track with a minor rock scramble at the end. Is Tibrogargan to be closed on the same grounds? http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/0 ... on-mt.html

The Aboriginal cultural claims are contested and NPWS have not disclosed the alternative opinions of different groups. The Aboriginal group with the most legitimate claim of custodianship have been ignored by NPWS and have indicated there is no issue with walkers reaching the summit. Ngaraakwal Elder Marlene Boyd RIP "I do not oppose the public climbing of Mt Warning - how can the public experience the spiritual significance of this land if they do not climb the summit and witness creation!" Why is this message not posted on a sign at the summit? http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/0 ... about.html

The environmental claims don't stack up. There's some nice footage of the summit in this 1975 clip (Peach's Australia) that show despite 3-4 million hikers since then the summit is in good condition. http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/0 ... ember.html

This is another undemocratic action being driven by PC government bureaucrats more interested in playing Identify politics than properly managing one of our most outstanding National PArks.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 12:39 pm

jonnosan wrote:The summit is very culturally significant to the local Bundjalung people, and they have been campaigning for a long time to have that connection respected and for the summit climb to be closed. Hopefully some alternative spots will be developed soon for the easy sight seers to walk on. For those who prefer a bit more adventure in their bushwalks, there are lots of other areas nearby that can be explored without feeling you are disrespecting the local indigenous communities.


There is substantial controversy over the so called "Bundjalung People". This extract from Germaine Greer's White Beech provides an insight....
http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/0 ... ut_14.html

On August 31 2009 Ngarakwal/Githabul activists made a submission to the Tweed Shire Council protesting against the perpetuation of the Bundjalung myth, the misuse of information from Indigenous elders and the lie of the dual identity of Mount Warning. According to Githabul elder Harry Boyd, Mount Warning is not Wollumbin the cloud-catcher and has nothing to do with any warrior king. The whole caldera is Wulambiny Momoli or 'scrub turkey nest', a `djurebil' or increase site where hunting is forbidden so that Brush-turkeys may replenish their numbers. He and his supporters denounced the ‘Bundjalung nation' as a white fiction. 'There is no Bundjalung nation, tribe, people, language, culture, clan, nor horde, No Bundjalung anything.'

It was my turn to visit Ann in Melbourne, where I gave her a progress report.

‘The Ngarakwal, Tindale's Arakwal, now say that the real Bundjalung are the Clarence River people; they also say that the Tweed Bundjalung are well aware that they are descendants of Islanders, and not Aboriginal at all.’

‘Is that true?’ asked Ann.

‘Who would know? These days you daren't even ask the question. Most people would say it's immaterial. Islanders lived with Aboriginal people and married into the clans, so they are entitled to self-identify. Besides the Torres Strait Islands are Australian.’

Ann frowned. ‘People were blackbirded from all over the South Seas. They weren't all Australian by any means. Still. What next?’

‘Uncle Harry Boyd says he's preparing a title claim that will cover as far as Nerang.’

Ann laughed. ‘Well, that should answer your questions once for all. Is Close involved?’

‘Close has gone to Western Australia. He had some sort of dust up with his people, and he's gone.’

‘What happened?’

‘There was a meeting of the Githabul Elders Council in Kyogle in April 2009, where Close wanted to raise issues about the handling of public money by the corporation. Apparently the director of the elder’s council took exception; according to Close, he had his three sons waylaid Close on his way out of the meeting, forced him back into the hall and knocked him to the ground. Twenty or thirty then gave him a hiding and he only escaped serious injury because his aunts intervened. This was the bloke who had had the biggest win of any native title claimant ever in New South Wales, on the floor, getting a belting from the people he'd been working for for sixteen years.

‘That's a terrible story,’ said Ann.

‘That's not all. The elders made a complaint to the police and Close found himself up on a charge of assault. He had the bad luck to come up in March 2010 in front of a magistrate who disbelieved his testimony which was disputed by the community. Close's aunts denied that he had been forced to the ground, or that they had had to protect him. Close ended up with a criminal conviction and was released on bond.’

‘You need to talk to him, don't you?’ said Ann.

‘I'm not sure. I haven't been able to track him down. Now that he's said to be working in the resources industry I'm not sure that I want to.’

‘There's one big stone still unturned. You ought to drop in to IATSIS on your way home.’

So I did.

The Institute of Aboriginal and Tones Strait Islander Studies is part of the Australian Museum complex, a range of handsome black buildings on the bank of Lake Burley Griffin. When I rang about the deposit made by the Ngarakwal people about the caldera, I found out that it had been placed on closed access. The issue had become so heated and the language so inflammatory that I would have to ask permission of the authors before I could see it.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 12:47 pm

Further contradictions in Aboriginal Cultural claims about Mt Warning exposed in this 2000 press release by Wijabul elder Fletcher Roberts (RIP)
http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/0 ... ut_13.html

Statement by Wijabul elder Fletcher Roberts Jan 4, 2000 (Text below)

PRESS RELEASE

Cultural boundaries, responsibilities have been ignored in Mt Warning issue, Elder says.

Wijabul elder Fletcher Roberts has criticised moves by a section of the Aboriginal community to claim that Mt Warning is a sacred site and to prevent people from climbing the mountain.

"They have had walking tracks up the mountain for decades, but no one has tried to stop people from climbing it before," Mr Roberts said.

"This claim is a modern day invention.

"This claim is being perpetuated by someone who is overstepping his cultural responsibilities and he will have to face the consequences of Aboriginal lore for what he is doing.

"Claims are being made that this knowledge came from the very elder who raised me and gave me my own knowledge but he never told me not to go to Mt Warning.

"The people who are stepping into this from outside these boundaries will have to face the cultural consequences.

"They should remember the boundaries of their own clan area and the cultural lore.

"These people should be mindful of the destruction they are causing to true Aboriginal culture.

"The white community needs to wise up to the Aboriginal sectors that try to use their lack of understanding of Aboriginal culture for their own purposes.

"The white community needs to make sure it identifies the true elders of an area.

"They should realise that elders' responsibilities apply to their own tribal areas and they have no jurisdiction over another area.

"It is not unusual for clans to have disputes over boundaries and this still happens today as it did in the past... but for people from Mullabugilmah (near Grafton) to claim that they have some jurisdiction over Mt Warning id too far a stretch of the imagination.

"If they still believe in the culture they should stick to their own areas.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE signed F Roberts January 4, 2000.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby jonnosan » Fri 26 Feb, 2021 4:21 pm

Given the potential for this conversation to rapidly devolve from here, anyone intending to respond to 'freetoroam' may want to first consider that a quick check of the account history [ search.php?author_id=14423&sr=posts ] indicates those 3 posts appear to be the only contribution this user has ever made to this site on any topic.

You are all of course free to form your own view on this or any other matter, but I personally am not inclined to spend energy engaging with sockpuppets.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 7:02 am

"sock puppets". What a wonderful way to engage! Sad that when presented with facts that counter their views some people respond with ad hominem attacks. I have a keen interest in ensuring access to long established trails in our national parks are not locked up due to irrational and ideological reasons. I'm the editor of the page quoted in opening entry of this thread.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 7:22 am

PS my last contributions here were on a discussion about the closure of the Ayers Rock climb. With some disappointment it seems the whole thread was removed. I didn't realise the thought police were members.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby CBee » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 8:43 am

I'm in favor of climbing churches and cathedrals.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby jonnosan » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 10:15 am

poor attempt at irony deleted
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 10:56 am

Here is a short list of cathedrals you can climb. I understand there are many minerets also open to the public...

http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2017/1 ... limbs.html
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby CBee » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 11:11 am

Sorry jonnosan, what I meant, is free-climbing the cathedrals on the outside structure (buildering). Climbing a cathedral in a "tourist way", such as the way posted from freetoroam, is OK but not much fun. I have done a bunch of them in Europe and most of them can be summited for a view, for a small fee (some free). Cheaper than entering a National Park in Australia to climb Uluru or other rocks. Don't know why, but I have a condition, an urge to climb walls, cliffs, structures, poles, boulders, mountains and monoliths. I can stare at pretty much anything tall and vision a way up, see anchor placements, dream of ridges, saddles, gullies, couloirs, even daydreaming about sheltered camp spots and bivuoacs. I think has nothing to do with religion related issues, just a mental condition that I shall investigate if it gets any worse. I can assure you, my life hasn't been easy.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby juxtaposer » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 1:19 pm

Climbing the exteriors of churches and cathedrals is irrelevant here because for safety reasons alone it could never be condoned. Restrictions on where walkers can and cannot go in the bush is an issue coming increasingly to the fore. Apart from Uluru and Wollumbin, in the Budawangs you can't camp in any overhang where evidence of past Aboriginal use has been found. There are at least two caves in the Blue Mountains recently closed for the same reason. In the south east forests the track through Nunnock Swamp is off limits because it's a sacred site, and the campsite at White Rock River closed because it's an occupation site. Many would have seen the feature in the latest WILD about the closure of part of Mt. Arapiles to rock climbers that is causing some angst. There must be hundreds of sacred sites in national parks that could potentially be affected: Mt. Dromedary (Gulaga) on the south coast is sacred, and a sacred dreamtime creation story covers the whole of the Wollondilly and Coxs Valleys. Add to this the restrictions walkers face from private intrusions in national parks and wilderness areas (also featured in the latest WILD) and the old freedom of the bush is starting to look not quite what it used to.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby freetoroam » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 1:45 pm

juxtaposer - The sad issue with the looming ban at Mt Warning is that the group of Traditional owners who are recognised as the true custodians have been ignored by NPWS for 2 decades. It amazes me that walkers here like Jonnosan chose to support the discredited views of the Bundjalung and would rather bend their knees based on a lie rather than support the uplifting statement of Ngaraakwal Elder Marlene Boyd RIP - let's hear it again - "I do not oppose the public climbing of Mt Warning - how can the public experience the spiritual significance of this land if they do not climb the summit and witness creation!" What do any of us gain from banning awe and wonder? Again I ask why is her inspirational message not posted on a sign at the base of the walk and also at the summit?
The Mt Warning summit walk in any other country would attract twice its current visitation. It would have long been upgraded to cater for the number of visitors it could attract thereby solving the minor environmental issues. But in Australia it gets the "demarketing" treatment and gets used as a plaything for Bureaucrats and Aboriginal Groups.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby GregG » Sun 28 Feb, 2021 8:20 pm

Comment to jonnosan deleted.
Last edited by GregG on Mon 01 Mar, 2021 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 10:36 am

At risk of feeding the troll, I'll just point out a couple things.

Firstly, the list of churches that can be climbed (internally) are all done with permission. The people who own the place, to whom it is special and sacred, determine where and how visitors can enjoy those places. People overwhelmingly respect those rules (just as they don't touch the paintings in art galleries or try and sneak into the storerooms at museums). This is a combination of being respectful, as well as being part of our cultural upbringing. Unfortunately, the cultural upbringing of most Australians has been to treat Indigenous people (including their culture and sacred places) with contempt. It is that culture, which actively tried to eradicate the First Nations people of this continent, that is the reasons we've been able to roam wherever we like in the bush, without even thinking about the cultural significance.

In the same way that it was wrong for people to be jailed for being gay, and it was wrong for people to be denied jobs because of their ethnicity or religion, it remains wrong that we don't treat Indigenous people and their beliefs with respect. That is changing, slowly, but I imagine that in future decades people will be shocked that it was an expectation that we could just walk anywhere, without regard for the sacredness or significance of certain places.

I'd also point out that freetoroam (Marc Hendrickx) has a very clear ideological agenda. His website was set up specifically to campaign against the closure of the Uluru climb. He wrote a book in 2018, as the closure loomed, called A guide to climbing Ayers Rock. The foreword is by leading climate change denialist (and darling of the far right) Ian Plimer.

His website makes no mention of other park closures and restriction: Spring Creek at Bungonia has been closed for two decades due to safety concerns, and the Wollemi pines have been off limits for longer for environmental reasons. His only concerns are places where Indigenous people dare speak up and say they don't want people climbing. His issue is clearly not with access restrictions, but with Indigenous people who dare tell him what he can and can't do.

Finally, Mr Hendrickx's dubious argument that he should be able to do something because he trawled around until he found one Indigenous person who said it was okay has all the hallmarks of how a spoilt child behaves. Mum says no, so they go to Dad, then Grandma, etc, etc, until finally someone says yes. They know they shouldn't be doing it, but they refuse to take no for an answer, shopping around until someone finally lets them get their way.

As per my original comment in this thread, a lot of this stuff comes down to being respectful of others. Putting our own short-term enjoyment ahead of the interests of others is selfish. Being a kind and respectful person means listening to others and changing our actions if we find out what we are doing is causing harm (even if it was totally inadvertent). A little bit of empathy and respect go a long way to making the world a better place.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby north-north-west » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 11:45 am

Well said FC.

If freetoroam is so insistent about the "right" of people to go wherever they choose, I look forward to him trying to walk through any and all private property in this country, including (but not limited to) farms, minesites, suburban backyards and industrial premises. Hell, haven't they even fenced off Parliament House so we can no longer walk over it? Go and complain about that.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby Nuts » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 8:20 pm

I always find interest yet woefully inadequate knowledge of these topics.

There was Harry Boyd too (speaking in person in this linked clip): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn4-hkAk970

Do need to be careful we aren't just supporting the imposition of clumsy, lazy or possibly even increasingly corrupt parks policy (those who actually care for more than rights and ownership).

Personally, I'd support closing some summit climbs with little evidence or anyone to blame, 'because we can'. Needing little justification more than can be explained under 'because it's there'.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby CBee » Mon 01 Mar, 2021 8:58 pm

I can't see any crime in climbing mountains. Or bushwalking. Or walkabouts. All noble activities and, after all, the only people that still have a strong connection with the land, are those who live and respect the land, no matter what race or belief. All other arguments are divisive and I reject divisions.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby north-north-west » Tue 02 Mar, 2021 8:08 am

CBee wrote:I can't see any crime in climbing mountains. Or bushwalking. Or walkabouts.


Hint: Just because you don't see harm doesn't mean it isn't there.
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Re: Mount Warning Closure.

Postby crollsurf » Tue 02 Mar, 2021 11:23 am

As mentioned the Parks (in their National Parks at least) do have a responsibility to provide access to the public:

The purpose of reserving land as a national park is to identify, protect and conserve areas containing outstanding or representative ecosystems, natural or cultural features or landscapes or phenomena that provide opportunities for public appreciation and inspiration and sustainable visitor or tourist use and enjoyment so as to enable those areas to be managed in accordance with subsection (2).

(2) A national park is to be managed in accordance with the following principles—
...
(d) the promotion of public appreciation and understanding of the national park’s natural and cultural values,
(e) provision for sustainable visitor or tourist use and enjoyment that is compatible with the conservation of the national park’s natural and cultural values,

The word "sustainable" would be open to interpretation. Either limiting visitations or sustainably providing for visitations. Also there are "National Parks" in NSW that are surrounded by private land so not sure how they fit into the legislation.
https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1974-080#sec.30E


However under new legislation it appears Parks do not have to give any reasoning to close a park, just written notice.
6 Regulation by public or written notices
(1) A park authority may do any of the following by means of notices displayed in, or at the boundary of, the park or part of the park to which the notices relate or by means of written notices given to park users—
...
(b) close the park, or any part of the park, to the public,
...

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/whole/html/inforce/current/sl-2019-0408#sec.6

In regard to the views of the local/nonlocal First Nations people, there is no provision for them to decide if an area is closed or not.
63 Care, control and management of Aboriginal areas
(1) The Chief Executive has the care, control and management of all Aboriginal areas except as provided by subsection (2).
(2) On the establishment of a board of management for an Aboriginal area dedicated under Part 4A, the care, control and management of the area is vested in the board of management.

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1974-080#sec.63

Be interesting to know what more learned people think. Maybe the Parks current actions have more to do with underfunding and the recent bush fires, but definitely more and more people are starting to question what their motivations are.
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