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Bear Gully camping ground indefinite closure in South Gippsland due to cultural heritage concerns prompts frustration from local residents

Danny O'Brien, seeking answers, voices frustration over Bear Gully campground indefinite closure, lacking details on cultural significance or a reopening timeline, prompting concerns from constituents and calls for transparency.

By news@gippsland - 30th November 2023 - Back to News

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O'Brien, is seeking answers as frustration mounts among would-be campers over the continued closure of Bear Gully campground. The popular campground, located at Walkersville near Cape Liptrap and overlooking Wilsons Prom, has been closed since February 2023.

Bear Gully shut for cultural heritage, suggesting 'Waratah Bay Wander' as an alternative, investigating cultural impacts with First Peoples-State Relations

Bear Gully shut for cultural heritage, suggesting 'Waratah Bay Wander' as an alternative, investigating cultural impacts with First Peoples-State Relations

Campground closure confusion

Mr O'Brien said Parks Victoria originally advised that the campground would be closed until 7 May, but that that had now been extended indefinitely with no further explanation. "Parks Victoria has placed a few paragraphs on its website stating that the campground is closed while it "works with First People - State Relations to investigate and assess potential impacts to cultural heritage at this site".

"There is no advice on when the site will reopen or any explanation as to what cultural significance this campground might represent." Mr O'Brien said he had written to the Minister for Environment in June and again in October asking for more information on why the campground is closed and when it can be expected to reopen. All he has been told so far is that the closure is "until further notice".

Campsite closure concerns

Mr O'Brien said he had been contacted by a number of frustrated constituents who are keen to get back to their beloved campsite. "These people are understandably frustrated that they are being locked out of their favourite camping spot without proper explanation. Nobody wants to damage or harm Aboriginal artefacts or anything of cultural significance, but we do want answers."

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath, also raised the closure in Parliament this week. "The failure to be transparent on what is going on and how long we can expect the closure to be in place is creating unnecessary angst. It's time for the Minister to be up front and provide a timeline for the re-opening or at least be frank with the community about why it is closed," Ms Bath said.

Pictures from Parks Victoria website.


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