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Buchan Caves Reserve infrastructure replacement post-bushfire remains unprioritised keeping it close to public for almost three years
Buchan Caves Reserve is still not operating even close to its pre-fires level and Nationals State MP, Tim Bull, says the community can't afford to wait any longer to replace the fire damaged park infrastructure for the tourist dependent town.
Nationals State MP, Tim Bull said the caves generate a significant amount of revenue for the local community, however major infrastructure replacement post-bushfire remains unprioritised. "When the fires hit Buchan, critical tourism infrastructure was impacted, and frustratingly like Cape Conran, nearly three years on, we are still waiting for repairs to enable business as usual," he said.
Temporary bridges are still providing access to the Buchan Caves Reserve, almost three years after the fires
Impacting tour numbers
Mr Bull said, "Cave tour bookings must be done on line 24 hours in advance and tickets are not available for purchase on the day which must significantly impact tour numbers, particularly for the spontaneous traveller. This really hurts the economy and the visitor experience."
The fire also took out the roofed accommodation and wilderness retreats which, like Cape Conran, are still not replaced. Without having a place to stay in the park, locals report that tourists leave town early, often spending their visitor dollars outside of Buchan.
"While the Buchan Cave tours are open, infrastructure replacement such as the fire damaged entrance to the Fairy Cave remains unrepaired," Mr Bull said.
Letting the community know
Mr Bull added, "Similarly, trail rehabilitation is still preventing visitors full access to the Spring Creek Walking Track, I'm told the tour guide hut has not been replaced and temporary bridges still provide the only access to the caves reserve."
"It has been over three years since anyone took a breathtaking dip in the Buchan Cave Reserve pool, which was an experience that is not easily forgotten. It has taken far too long to reopen this visitor attraction, which is advertised by Parks Victoria that it will finally open in late November 2022, but we've heard these promises before."
"Almost three years after the fires, the Buchan tourism sector is still yet to get back to business and it is not good enough. If we are elected in November, I look forward to fast tracking some of this work and better communication with the community to let them know what is going on." Mr Bull concluded.
Pictures from Tim Bull MP website.
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