26 September 2023

Heritage huts to be rebuilt after bushfire

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The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) is calling for feedback on a proposal to rebuild two heritage listed huts in Namadgi National Park, each of which was destroyed by bushfire in 2020.

Encouraging the people of Canberra to weigh in on EPSDD’s Namadgi National Park Huts Project Proposal, the Minister for Heritage, Rebecca Vassarotti said the project aimed to provide ongoing commemoration of the two stockman huts.

Ms Vassarotti said EPSDD was proposing to build a new hut structure near the Demandering Hut site and to partially rebuild Max and Bert Oldfield’s Hut near its old site.

She said the Directorate would also initiate a ‘Historic Huts Project’ to conserve the memory of both structures with archival recordings.

“Both huts are important due to their aesthetic, historic, social and rarity values, which is why they are included on the ACT Heritage Register as part of a serial listing of Stockmen’s Huts in Namadgi National Park,” Ms Vassarotti said.

“As well as building two new hut structures, the ACT Government proposes to conserve and commemorate these sites by bringing together family and caretaker site knowledge with built heritage specialist and archaeological investigation, to build a single archival record that communicates the story of each original hut place.”

Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman said the proposal, open for feedback until 13 February, was part of ongoing land management work in the National Park.

“The Orroral Valley bushfire burnt more than 80 per cent of Namadgi National Park, causing significant damage to natural, cultural and social assets,” Mr Gentleman said.

“While the proposed hut structures will respect the originals, we have an opportunity to subtly improve their location, design and construction to reduce fire risk and provide a basic level of emergency shelter for bushwalkers during inclement weather,” he said.

EPSDD’s seven-page Project Proposal can be accessed at this PS News link.

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