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A public consultation is being led by the Office for Recreation and Sport, in collaboration with PIRSA and DEWNR, around the proposal to create a greenway over the Heysen and Mawson trails within the Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests.

In particular, the wider community and adjoining landowners are being asked for feedback on:

  • using a greenway to protect access to significant trails and associated trail infrastructure
  • the proposed Bundaleer and Wirrabara greenways
  • any other issues, ideas or observations. 

Your comments and the feedback provided through YourSAy will inform the Government’s final decision on the proposal to create a greenway over the Heysen and Mawson trails within the Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests.

Comments closed

Neil Palmer

23 May 2017

I've just left a comment which I thought was on the Wirrabara discussion but it seems the discussion covers both Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests. A little confusing. But I'd like to add my personal support for Bundaleer. I was born and grew up in Jamestown and there was rarely a month go by when we did not visit the Bundaleer Forest for a picnic, walks and golf. More recently we attended the famed Bundaleer Weekend featuring the arts and music. I support with great enthusiasm the Government's proposal to continue forestry and to enable wide public access through the Greenways. Best of luck with the project and I look forward to a great outcome for the Mid North, SA and Australia.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > Neil Palmer

23 May 2017

Thanks for both of your submissions, Neil.

Neil Palmer

23 May 2017

I strongly support the Government's intention to continue commercial forestry in the mid north and to preserve community access through these areas of great natural beauty which may become private property. I think continuation of forestry and enhancement of economic development opportunities through eco-tourism will benefit the Mid North and at the same time preserve the historic planted forest reserves which are among Australia's oldest. I have travelled to and through Wirrabara forest on many occasions over the years and on to Melrose and through the Pt Germein Gorge. Near the Bluff, on the southern boundary of Wirrabara Forest is the Beetaloo Reservoir catchment area. This part of SA is special to the many people who know it, and hopefully the much larger group that will get to experience it through guaranteed public access afforded by establishment of Greenways. I also hope that administration and maintenance of the SA Government's responsibilities are supported by locally based officials who can interact effectively with the local community and not people based in Adelaide.

Trevor Pillar

23 May 2017

I love the mid-north of South Australia. From my boyhood days I and my brothers, sisters and cousins were nurtured by parents, aunts and uncles who lived and worked in the beautiful little mid-north towns and villages. We hold dear the days of roaming the rolling countryside and the spicy scent of pepper trees in the hot, lazy summer afternoons. The Bluebird trains travelling to and from Adelaide were a wonderful safe transport for us all.
That mid-north rural life style has been shattered like a slow train wreck these past 20-30 years as many communities have slowly succumbed to economic decline. It is a massive loss that I believe we can and should reverse so that all SA benefits, not only in its capital city, but also in this beautiful part of the state.
Regarding Bundaleer and Wirrabara forests we have the perfect opportunity to reverse this sad economic trend.
Reversing that trend is eminently more possible in these last few yeasr, with new technology significantly lowering costs for water and energy.
The aims of further developing walking and cycling trails within this area, new infrastructure development, with new business opportunities for tourism and forestry, is a perfect mix for building stronger, richer mid-north communities and for SA as a whole.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > Trevor Pillar

23 May 2017

Thanks for your contribution, Trevor.

Jeff Francis

22 May 2017

Like other comments to date, I am pleased to see that efforts are being made to continue the historic public recreational access to these (Bundaleer and Wirrabara) forest and native bush areas. My family, friends, and I have enjoyed recreating and competing in sporting events in these areas in the past. Cycling, orienteering and rogaining, as well as more leisurely activities are well suited to these areas and as a consequence we stay and enjoy services and patronise businesses in the region.
I would like to stress that access to trail and off-trail areas is an essential part of many of these activities, so I would be strongly opposed to and disappointed by any future restriction of access from the current sensible arrangement. Of course where forestry activity is underway it would be reasonable to ensure public safety by restrictions, however a permanent exclusion 'just in case' cannot be justified in my view.
Not all, but much of the recreational opportunities in the region require little more than access to land for non-destructive recreation. I also believe that there is potential for improved regional returns by enhanced access, for example by simple signposting and availability of maps locally for the existing tracks and trails. This would facilitate public enjoyment of the forest and bushland area, with potential supplementary business for local traders.
Land privatisation, particularly of state-owned property (and therefore a community asset) need not result in restricted use and exclusion of access. The greenway concept is a good one but I would like to see it apply over a broad region in such a way as to maintain minimal impact recreational access generally and not just to some designated trails.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > Jeff Francis

23 May 2017

Thanks for your contribution, Jeff. It will be considered by the project team as a part of the consultation process.

Greg Boston

19 May 2017

It is encouraging to see Government are looking at protecting areas of the forests for public use in perpetuity. The communities of Jamestown and Wirrabara have played a major role in providing feedback to government in emphasising the historical significance of these forests and the importance of retaining and maintaining these facilities for future generations.
We have provided input into defining areas of the widely used Bundaleer Picnic Grounds, walking trails and historic buildings and are slightly concerned about the details shown on the current map shown for Bundaleer. It is absolutely imperative that the Bundaleer public area in its entirety is included in the Greenways prescribed area, rather than what appears to be small specific trails and parts of trails. This would ensure our aim of further developing walking and cycling trails within this area and new infrastructure development within this area are also covered under the Greenways definition. We have a strong desire to develop a large Nature Play Playground within the Bundaleer Picnic Ground complex and it would be remiss to have projects such as this excluded from the Greenways plan.
We are hopeful government continues their consultation with local communities and work cooperatively with us, to ensure the best outcome for these very significant public assets for all to enjoy.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > Greg Boston

23 May 2017

Thank you for your input, Greg.

The maps provided on this webpage form part of the consultation process for the greenways project. They’re intended to give participants in the consultation process a perspective of the extent of the forests and the recommended trail routes to be protected under the Recreational Greenways Act 2000. They are provided as a guide for participants in the consultation discussion. Contributions such as yours will inform the ultimate locations of the greenways.

We thank you for your suggestions around incorporating the wider associated areas around the Bundaleer Picnic Ground and these will be considered by the project team.

jon lang

19 May 2017

As someone who has cycled the length of the Mawson Trail and is piece by piece ticking off the Heysen Trail - with my primary school aged kids, I personally hope that Greenways are established over these sections of trail, as a minimum. I would be hopeful that further existing trail would remain accessible, also.

Having spent much time and effort in establishing access to trails for all user groups closer to Adelaide, I would be disappointed to see such assets be lost to any user, anywhere. One of the key points to successful shared use has always been having enough available trail for all, to reduce user density and prevent crowding. Losing access goes directly against this.

The geographic location of these trails is not to be lost, as noted by Andrew Lovell. The mid-north region is building a number of newer, 'eco-tourism' type businesses which are attracting folks to, and through, the mid-north areas - Over The Edge in Melrose, on the Mawson Trail and the gamut of events that are based there have increased the visibility of the Mawson Trail and the sections throughout the forests. In The Flinders in the Wirrabara area are promoting and hosting trailrunning, orienteering and rogaining opportunities in the region, making use of the open space and trails of the region. Such efforts bring folks from Adelaide and further afield, interstate and internationally, who make use of a range local businesses whilst in attendance. To not, at least, have access to these highly publicised and promoted, significant trails would be detrimental to those efforts.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > jon lang

23 May 2017

Thanks for your thoughts Jon. Certainly, the intention of this project is to ensure that public access to the Heysen and Mawson Trails through these forests is preserved in perpetuity. These greenways are proposed to be established over the sections of the Heysen and Mawson Trails within Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests that are proposed to be sold to private parties.

Andrew Lovell

17 May 2017

As a resident of the Mid North and very frequent (at least weekly) user of the Wirrabara Forest area and occasional user of the Bundaleer Forest area mainly as a cyclist but also as a walker, I view this proposal with serious concern.

Historically, ForestrySA have been very encouraging of recreational activities within the forest areas, with access for cyclists and walkers alike essentially unrestricted apart from plantation areas where harvesting activites are taking place or some other hazard to the public exists. Additionally, other groups such as trail horse riders, trail runners, orienteers and even occasionally motorsports groups have been given access to these forest areas to conduct organised recreational activities.

This access provided by ForestrySA has been sensible, considered and supportive of individuals and groups pursuing healthy leisure and sporting activities. I, for one, have been very appreciative and thankful for the encouragement and support received as an individual and also as an event organiser in the past. I know many other individuals and groups appreciate the access provided to these beautiful areas.

The proposal indicates that there will be just one preserved walking trail within the Wirrabara Forest. As I read it, the implication of this is there will no longer be cycling, horse trail riding, orienteering, trail running or any other activity permitted at all within the Wirrabara Forest area and walking only on this single trail through the forest. (A trail, I will add, that is currently designated multi use.) The proposal is similar with regard to Bundaleer.

The impact of this decision of course does not only effect recreational users, but also potentially businesses in the area that derive important income from these users. At a time where towns in the region are trying hard to attract visitors, to have a tourism asset taken away is a poor outcome of this proposal. It may be small but for these areas it is not without significance.

There will be many people detrimentally affected by the implications if this proposal if it was to go ahead.

In my opinion, the government should be doing its utmost to maintain an identical level of recreational access to that currently enjoyed and appreciated by the many users of Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests. In the strongest possible terms, the government should be including this broad recreational access as a conditional component of any negotiation taking place with the future forest managers.

I ask, on behalf of the many that make use of these beautiful areas and those that benefit in other ways, that this proposal be reconsidered and greater access for recreational use formalised prior to the finalisation of any negotiations.

Andrew Lovell.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > Andrew Lovell

19 May 2017

Thank you for your contribution and for providing your views, Andrew. It is for the very purpose of receiving viewpoints such as yours that the consultation process is being undertaken. Feedback such as yours will assist with finalising routes and defined uses for the greenways.

To note, there are many public trails crossing private land in South Australia and they currently operate successfully without formal greenways being created under the Recreational Greenways Act (indeed, this is the first time that the Recreational Greenways Act has been used). Often in such instances, voluntary agreements are made between the landowner and the state government.

In this instance, the government has announced that land will be sold to private owners via the Mid North Forests Future Strategy. Under this strategy, a key element is that any future owners must protect the cultural, environmental and recreational values of the land.

Any further queries or concerns related to the Mid North Forests Future Strategy, as opposed to the Greenways, should be directed to pirsa.forestry@sa.gov.au.

Again, thanks for your contribution, which will be considered by the project team.

Christopher Daw

16 May 2017

The Heysen and Mawson trails are brilliant walking/cycling opportunities for all - local, national and international enthusiasts. They both have iconic status and add to the diversity of community activities available in South Australia. It is incredibly important that they be maintained and protected.

Government Agency

Community Engagement, DPTI > Christopher Daw

16 May 2017

Thanks for your thoughts, Christopher.

Ann Mudge > Christopher Daw

10 Jun 2017

As a new resident of Jamestown, I am concerned that this very popular picnic ground and facilities is in danger of being eroded into a very small area available to the public. It should be of grave concern to this government that country areas, particularly in the mid north, are struggling to survive, and any intrusion into areas that are bringing visitors into the area must be avoided at all costs. The country areas are a vital part of Australian life, and should be nurtured not further endangered by unscrupulous people who only see dollar signs. Please make this whole area a Greenway, and preserve this valuable asset for future generations.