Douglas Shire Council has urged the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) to ensure iconic off-road tracks including the Bump Track, the Zig Zag Track and the proposed Wangetti Trail are not neglected in its current review.
WTMA has invited Council to provide a submission regarding the Wet Tropics Management Plan Review designed to help protect the region’s World Heritage values.
Mayor Julia Leu said that while Council welcomes any efforts to preserve and enhance the Wet Tropics, there are some concerns over proposals to change road classifications that may adversely impact access to some of the Douglas Shire’s most iconic nature trails.
“Council has asked for further clarification from WTMA on road classifications as the proposed mapping indicates the Bump Track, East Black Mountain Rd, the Zig Zag Track and the proposed Wangetti Trail are not formally recognised recreational tracks,” Mayor Leu said.
“This indicates that there may be no formal management of these tracks and they could ultimately disappear into the rainforest, which could severely impact locals and visitors of engaging in hugely popular recreational activities on them in the future.
“Council also has reservations about proposed changes to zones within the Wet Tropics which has the potential to significantly interfere with the Return to Country aspirations of traditional owners, particularly in the China Camp (Buru) area of Douglas Shire.
“We very much welcome WTMA’s invitation to contribute to the Draft Management Plan Review and look forward to working through these issues with them and other stakeholders over the coming months.”
Council’s full submission to the Wet Tropics Management Plan Review can be viewed by clicking HERE.