I am writing this letter with regards to the possible road closure to the Mossman Gorge and my concerns with the consequences of such action.
Whilst I strongly support the Proposed Mossman Gorge Visitor centre and can see the benefits that the Mossman community will bring to this project and visa versa, my concerns are with the road closure itself.
Other paddlers and I have used the Mossman River for Kayaking over the past 10 years. We are not a club, nor a business. We just enjoy paddling the section of river down from the existing car park.
This stretch of river is widely regarded as the best white water river in North QLD and tourist's travel here to paddle this river as well as locals.
It is however a river for experienced paddlers and we accept that this is an isolated river and we take full responsibility and accept all legal liability.
This activity conducted by experienced paddlers has less risk than untrained inexperienced swimmers.
To date, we have never had an incident that has required an organized rescue from any one outside our own group of paddlers.
There is absolutely no environmental impact during the participation of white water kayaking on a river. We pride our selves on taking out any rubbish we find along the way. We are in this sport to enjoy the parts of this country that many people will never get to see. After all, it is a National Park that is owned by the Nation's tax paying public.
Cairns and the surrounding areas is fast becoming the white water capital of Australia. While every other state in Australia is in a drought, we have some of the best water to paddle in all year round. This in itself is a major tourism draw card.
We are not asking for anything from National Parks or the council other than to merely have access to the existing car park area within the National Park to get our kayaks to a point that we can access the white water sections of the river.
If access is to be blocked, there would need to be a strong case for one of the following:
Ø Environmental impact issues,
Ø Risk to general public or
Ø A breach of policy in regard to use of Queensland National Parks and natural rivers.
I am also concerned this closure of a gazetted road and consequently the National Park is being carried out with out the proper public consultation process. I am not aware of any such process at present though I have heard this proposed closure is "going to happen"
I see a total road closure with a bus system supplied by the community merely as an income for the community. They will still be running busses up the road to carry the same volume of visitors that are currently driving up there. I'm sure if tourists wish to pay for a guided tour by a local, then they would happily pay for the privilege, but to give locals the only option of that or walking 2.5km I believe is wrong.
I am happy to take the time to meet with you to discuss this matter further and would like to be kept up to date with any future developments regarding this matter.
I am writing with regard to the proposed limit in access to Mossman Gorge. I am a local resident. For ten years I have enjoyed the freedom of driving to the existing car park, unloading my kayak and paddling the river with friends.
I am an experienced kayaker and to date have experienced no incidents on the river that have impacted the 'outside' community or resources. Lessening environmental impact has always been a major focus of trips. I have often cleaned rubbish from the tourist trails and car park. I commend the efforts of the local community in maintaining such a pristine environment.
Having access to this area remains a special privilege to those of us choosing to live in the Far North, and I encourage those with authority to keep this car park area open to public cars.
I look forward to many more years enjoying access to the river with my friends while continuing to share the local area and visitors centre with interstate and overseas guests.
I am writing in regard to the proposed permanent road closure into the existing Mossman Gorge car park.
As far as I am aware National Parks in Queensland have public road access to a specific point and after this everyone walks, paddles etc. Day visitor access is also free in Queensland. The proposed change to Mossman Gorge access effectively moves this park outside of both of these existing policies.
I support the development of a visitor center and support the concept of a bus service from the center. I do not support this being allowed to be the only option.
Will this bus service be offered as a public tender?Will more than one operator be allowed?Are the standards of the Competition legislation being met?It doesn't seem to make much sense. If the road needs to be closed, then permanently close it to all traffic. Closing it to all traffic except a bus service with a viable business plan creates a wide range of concerns:
Who owns the road: National Parks or the Regional Council, or is it now a private road?Who will maintain the road and at whose expense?If an accident happens on the road who is liable?Effectively the requirement to use the bus becomes a day use fee for entry into the National Park. Again this creates a range of concerns.
I understand that there will be an option to walk on the road and not take the bus. The existing road is narrow and I hardly think that many will choose to walk so far on a narrow road being used exclusively by buses. Who has liability in this situation if a pedestrian is hit?
The requirement to use the bus or walk also places restrictions on what people can do in the Gorge. Many take large items such as eskys and kayaks into the park area. Will provision for these be made on the bus or will these practices be blocked?
A bus service linked to the visitors' center as a voluntary option is a good thing. This allows the center to win clients through the quality of its service. Forcing people to use the bus is not an acceptable option.