Over the winter Parks Victoria staff have been hard at work re-opening parks and popular sites in East Gippsland damaged in the devastating Black Summer bushfires.
Recognising the vital importance of many Parks Victoria assets for the region’s economy, recovery works at Cape Conran Coastal Park and Croajingolong National Park will be completed for this summer.
This includes a rebuild for the popular East Cape boardwalk at Cape Conran expected to be finished in December, allowing people to experience the wild ocean beaches once again. It follows the 2020 re-opening of the Banksia Bluff campground, the new boardwalk at Salmon Rocks and restored access to Yeerung beach.
Restored access to Yeerung Beach in the Cape Conran Coastal Park – Credit: Parks Victoria
In Croajingolong, construction of replacement jetties at Captain Creek and Sou-West Arm at Mallacoota is in progress.
Tenders to replace jetties at Genoa River Fire Trail and Gravelly Point will be released shortly. New floating pontoons will be installed to make both sites more accessible to people with higher mobility needs and allow all visitors to enjoy the ancient forests, pristine inlets, giant sand dunes and native wildlife of the area.
Additionally, works are progressing ahead of schedule at the damaged 115-metre Wingan Inlet boardwalk and repairs for the McKenzie River Rainforest Walk are set to commence once ground conditions improve.
Planning is also underway on the $2.8 million project to improve access and visitor facilities at Mallacoota Inlet, announced as part of the 2020/21 State Budget.
The ongoing bushfire recovery works are supported by the Victorian Government’s $110 million Eastern Victoria Fires 2019-20 State Recovery Plan and $16.8 million from insurance.
Repairs underway at the Captain Creek jetty – Credit: Parks Victoria
Other recovery works in East Gippsland are underway, with the Thurra River Bridge near Cann River expected to open in mid-2023 to restore access to the nearby campground, alongside delivery of the $3.85 million upgrade to provide better access to the Point Hicks Lightstation and accommodation.
Hazardous trees and debris at Fairy Dell Day Visitor Area near Bruthen have been removed, allowing construction of new footbridges and toilets to be tendered by the end of the year and complete by mid-2022.
Before heading out to bushfire-impacted areas, ensure you check for the most up to date information on forest and park closures at https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-in-nature/changed-conditions-and-closures