Be Safe In Our Parks And Reserves This Winter

Nick Duigan, Minister for Parks and Environment

Winter is here and it's important everyone takes extra care and ensure they are well prepared and safe when visiting the state's parks and reserves.

Minister for Parks and Environment, Nick Duigan, said winter can be a great time for bushwalking.

"But it comes with increased hazards which include severe weather changes and the risk of hypothermia," Minister Duigan said.

"We want visitors to our Parks to get out and enjoy the unique experience of walking in winter in Tasmania, to get outdoors and explore, but we want everyone to be safe.

"There are some basic safety tips to follow before embarking on a walk, including checking the weather forecast, choosing walks that match your capabilities, using the right equipment, be flexible with plans when conditions change, register your walk and tell someone where you are going and when you intend to be back."

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Operations Manager (North) Jayne Cooper said our highland areas are popular for winter walks.

"Tasmania's highlands can experience severe weather and sudden weather changes more frequently at this time of year and walkers should not underestimate the severity of conditions they may experience," Ms Cooper said.

"Another aspect visitors need to be aware of is the very short daylight hours in winter. Walks that may be completed easily in the long days of summer can become a challenge to complete in the short daylight hours of winter."

Tasmania Police Senior Sergeant Michael Gillies reiterated the importance of being prepared and carrying equipment to stay safe and enable contact with emergency services if assistance is required.

"It's imperative that if you're planning on bushwalking you carry items to be suitably prepared for all conditions including sub-zero temperatures; including clothing and footwear, a waterproof jacket; adequate food and water, and a first aid kit," Senior Sergeant Gillies said.

"It's important to always carry a communication device but don't rely solely on your mobile phone – carry a physical map, a portable battery bank to recharge your mobile phone, and a Personal Locator Beacon.

"Police and rescue agencies will always respond to requests for assistance, but it's important to remember that if you require assistance, rescue crews could be hours away dependent on the weather. Carrying suitable equipment will ensure you can remain safe until help arrives if required."

Minister Duigan said under our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania's Future, our government will also improve track standards and safety in the alpine area and provide small-scale, public huts for walkers.

"We recognise that we need to continually invest in our Parks to keep our competitive advantage we have in our natural environment," Minister Duigan said.

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