26 September 2023

Axe falls on Tidbinbilla visitors

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

In a statement, the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate said more than 500 people had visited the Tidbinbilla Reserve over the weekend.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentlemen said it was disappointing that people appeared to be ignoring social distancing rules at a time of such serious health danger.

“Following the social distancing requirements is vital to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the ACT,” Mr Gentleman said.

“We have now closed the park for the safety of the community as well as our Parks and Conservation personnel,” he said.

He said Tidbinbilla had been the only major reserve still open in the ACT when the Directorate announced a host of closures on the Monday before the failure.

The Directorate said the areas closed from midday on Monday 27 March included playgrounds, outdoor fitness stations, skate parks, BBQs, the Tidbinbilla Visitor Information Centre, Namadgi Visitor Information Centre and all campgrounds including Cotter Campground, Blue Range Campground, Northern Border Campground, Kowen Campground and all campsites in Namadgi National Park.

It asked that while the spaces were not fenced or gated, “please do not use them’”

“Signage will be erected in coming days.”

It said that all other parks and reserves across the ACT would remain open with the new public gathering rules in place.

“Rangers will be operating as usual and if the Government see that people are not using these spaces responsibly, various parks and reserves may be closed,” it said.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve fell into the second category.

The Directorate said Namadgi National Park was closed for safety reasons following the Orroral Valley bushfire.

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