Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve closed in response to COVID-19

The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve has been closed following a weekend of increased visitor numbers and their failure to comply with social distancing requirements.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman said it was disappointing to close Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in response to people ignoring social distancing rules.

“This weekend over 500 people visited the Reserve and were confined to a reduced area as a result of January’s bushfires. We have now closed the park for the safety of the community as well as our Parks and Conservation personnel,” Minister Gentleman said.

“Following the social distancing requirements agreed by National Cabinet is vital to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the ACT.

“Other ACT Parks and Conservation Service facilities including Tidbinbilla Visitor Information Centre, Namadgi Visitor Information Centre, campgrounds, playgrounds and cottages were also recently closed as part of our response to the current public health emergency.

“All public campsites are now closed, including Cotter Campground, Blue Range Campground, Northern Boarder Campground, Kowen Campground and all campsites in Namadgi National Park. All current bookings will be refunded.

“Playgrounds within the Parks and Conservation areas are also closed, including those at Tidbinbilla, Cotter Avenue, Casuarina Sands and Pine Island. These closures are consistent with approaches undertaken by all other jurisdictions across the country to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I encourage everyone to respect the closures, think of others and maintain social distancing while using outdoor spaces. This means not congregating in groups larger than two, keeping 1.5 metres from others, avoiding peak usage periods and practicing good hand hygiene.

“Other parks and reserves across the ACT will remain open aside from Namadgi National Park, which remains closed for safety reasons following the Orroral Valley bushfire.

“Rangers will be monitoring to ensure people are using the spaces that remain open in accordance with government directions. If Canberrans continue to ignore the rules, we may need to close more parks and reserves.”

/Public Release. View in full here.