A petition has been set up to request the reopening of the Wollumbin (Mt Warning) Summit Track in northern NSW after it was closed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in March.
NPWS says the track was closed to significant safety issues.
"The park has been closed since March 2020 to comply with COVID-19 rules on public gatherings and physical distancing, particularly related to use of the chain near the summit of the climb", says the NPWS website.
"During this closure, an independent engineer's structural assessment strongly recommended the closure of the 100-metre chain section used by climbers to access the summit.
This assessment noted the existing posts in the chain section was reaching the end of their design life, increasing the risk of further accidents or fatalities.
The independent engineer's assessment led to the conclusion that catastrophic failure of this chain section was very high."
The petition says: "To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, we request the government reopen the Mount Warning (Wollumbin) Summit track, allowing all Australians and our visitors, to continue appreciating this world class environment and natural attraction.
"In the words of Marlene Boyd, local area Ngarakwal Nganduwal elder, "How can the public experience the spiritual significance of this land if they do not climb the summit and witness creation?"
"NPWS website states “There’s a nature walk for every style of bushwalker in NSW national parks. Whether you’re a social walker, more of a well-balanced traveller, a brave adventurer, or a wise explorer, you’ll enjoy the experiences available on many of our best nature walks”. Mt Warning Summit track is one such walk, catering to all walker’s needs.
"The descendants of the first Australians are not the only people with a sense of spiritual connection to the land. Mt Warning was dedicated as a National Park for the benefit of all Australians to experience with respect. The summit track attracts 170,000 visitors annually.
"We request the parliament installs relevant signage among other initiatives to promote reconciliation and understanding of local indigenous culture in our community, including the significance of the mountain.
"The track should be maintained with safety at the final summit section easily improved. The Mount Warning Summit is a beautiful, natural, healthy, experience providing a unique appreciation of our culture, environment and an opportunity to appreciate this special land we have.
We request the Mt Warning Summit Track be reopened."
So far 600 people have signed the petition.