A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milson's Point. Tel. XA1255|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Reporters||Jim Brown, Kath McKay|
|Sales and Subs||Shirley Evans|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Editorial - The Month of March||1|
|At the January Monthly Meeting||3|
|Victoria's Middle Alps||Allen A. Strom||6|
|The Howqua River||Edna Garrad||9|
|Information Section. 1. Yerranderie to Bimlow. 2. Mini Mini Range.||Jim Brown||11|
|Kosciusko State Park||Letter from Paul Barnes||13|
|Federation Notes||Brian Harvey||14|
Though the calendar shows January 1st as the beginning of the year, for S.B.W. members it really starts on the second Friday in March. On the evening of that day members will foregather in the Ingersoll Hall for the meeting of meetings, no less than the Annual General Meeting. Not only may we anticipate that the run-of-the-mill speakers whom we hear every month will participate, but many old members, schooled for years in monthly meetings, will turn up to remind us that even if they don't walk now they still talk.
The first business on the agenda will be to receive the Committee's Annual Report. Even now the Secretary is busily collecting together the information which will enable him to render an account of the Club's activities during the year. It will be in the hands of members at least a fortnight before the annual meeting, thus giving them ample time to ruminate on the virtues and/or shortcomings of the team which they entrusted with the Club's affairs. Appended to the report is the financial statement from which we can gauge how much was extracted from members and others during the year, where it went, and how much we may need to raise next year.
Early in the evening an old member will rise and move the suspension of standing orders so as to enable the election of the Committee - a process which usually takes an hour or so between other business. It is to be hoped that long before the second Friday in March members will have a fair idea of who they mean to propose or vote for on the Committee. It is not much use asking people to take on committee jobs on the night of the meeting, because many Committee members who are worth their salt don't commit themselves so lightly to a year's work, particularly if they are proposed as one of the Club Officers.
Who is a good Committee member? This might best be answered by considering what the Committee has to do. According to the Constitution it “shall arrange all activities, keep a record of same, keep members informed and generally manage the affairs of the Club”. Quite a formidable list of duties, but most would probably agree that its main jobs are the admission of new members, and the checking of the walks and social programmes. These jobs, and most of the other things which concern the Committee, call for people with first hand knowledge of club activities - in particular people who know the prospective members and the capability of walks leaders. Except for a few old members who take a continuing interest in Club activities, the only people who really know the prospectives and the walks leaders are those who go on walks. In addition the Committee member must be capable of doing the job to which he is elected - e.g. Presidents and Vice-Presidents must take an active interest in Club affairs and know how to run a meeting, Secretaries must know how to keep minutes and write letters, Treasurers must be able to keep books, Walks Secretaries must know the walking country and the walks leaders well and have some clerical ability. Membership Secretaries must be keen on meeting and getting to know the prospectives; Social Secretaries need to be able to organise, etc. Ordinary Committee members should be selected with care, because they are often called upon to do a variety of jobs - such as acting on the membership committee - and if they are active walkers capable of expressing themselves they make a valuable contribution to the work of the Committee. For all jobs in the Club, Committee or otherwise, perhaps the main qualification is that the person elected should be interested and prepared to do his best.
In addition to the Committee there are several other Club officers to be elected - the Hon. Solicitor, Auditor, delegates to other bodies, etc. and for some of these offices we are fortunate in having some trusted members who regularly fill them. One job to be filled is that of Editor. This position requires a combination of literary genius - to write editorials - and hypnotic powers - to force members to contribute against their wills. The present Editor has scraped along in spite of his deficiencies but will not be doing so next year. Readers therefore have five weeks to select a successor.
Following the general meeting we go to the Annual Reunion, a great event for old and new members - the one weekend of the year when we all camp together.
The Re-union weekend is usually warm and often steamy. Only once has the moisture condensed and been precipitated upon us in quantity - that was last year. But experienced walkers can usually detect just the first hint of coolness in the air. March is the last hot month. Easter is only a few weeks beyond. Soon the air will have a tang, the frosts will settle in the mountain valleys. Walkers will feel energy return and set out once more to revisit their old haunts and seek more adventures in new country.
Members turned up in force for the January General Meeting, reaching a maximum of about 70, and judging from the amount of talking it would appear that most of them had something to say. The President was in the chair, and there were no new members to welcome! Perhaps it was just as well, for it was a night for the Club's lone wolves (at least three motions were challenged, or supported by a solitary voice) and it seems certain that some hapless newcomer would have raised a lonely “boo”!
Correspondence was read, and we proceeded to hash over many matters raised: first came the advice of the Valuer General, in answer to representations from the Club Solicitor, offering an advance of £40 on the previously quoted improved value of Portion 7. This made the figure £440. Dormie urged that we accept, rather than go on with protracted argument, and the President explained that we could carry the matter to court, with attendant costs, and hope for a better assessment, but there was no certainty.
Ken Meadows mentioned that ho had heard a rumour that other owners of Era land were claiming extremely high compensation, and proposed to carry the matter to court: they intended to cite valuations near Palm Beach as a parallel. Brian Harvey considered that one of the blocks mentioned, that belonging to Mr. Frank Adams, may be regarded as of greater value because of its water frontage. Alex Colley said it might be best to accept the valuation rather than continue haggling, because it would perhaps strengthen our case for seeking the resumption. Betty Hall carried the argument further, and said it would be inconsistent for us to contest the resumption value too far, and might jeopardise our claims when we sought other resumptions later. We agreed to accept the valuation at £440.
A letter from the Forestry Advisory Council asking if we knew of any recent developments on the Mark Morton Reserve front met with a dearth of information from members, but it was decided to seek advice from Mr. Barrett of Meryla Pass, and also to organise a trip in the Reserve to see whether timber cutters had been operating over the Reserve boundaries, if the Forestry Advisory Committee so desired.
Next was Jim Hooper's suggestion that a prominent rock near Yerranderie be dubbed “Boorong Peak”. A number of people were slightly suspicious, and sought motives and assurance that the name would be apt: Jim Hooper bespoke the doubters fair, and in the end it was decided to refer the recommendation to Federation with the Club's concurrence - motion carried with one dessentient who didn't approve the idea of promiscuous name-scattering where rocks were concerned.
Amongst correspondence was Circular No.1 of the new Information Section, with its request that an Information Officer be appointed in each Club. Dormie suggested the Walks Secretary, and brought down considerably wrath - from Alex Colley, who thought the Walks Secretary already had sufficient to do, and Jim Hooper who suggested he may as well give away being Walks and just concentrate on being Information. Brian Harvey pointed out that the Information job in itself would not be very heavy - a matter of issuing and collecting report forms from each leader. Don Frost remarked that all walks leaders were supposed to hand a report in anyway - they didn't: and Ken Meadows thought we were moving in the direction of too many reports.
This introduced a revolution against the notion of Information Bureau Reports. Many said, why submit them on all walks? Why not just the unusual trips? Couldn't the Bureau sit down and work oat the data it needed for the everyday jaunts, without the duplication and amassing of paper resulting from a report on each and every walk? Kath Brown pointed out we had previously given assent to the idea of an Information Bureau, and it was rather late to try to change its policy. The motion to appoint the Walks Secretary was lost after a little more debate, during which Alex Colley observed that the reports and articles in the Magazine, if properly indexed, would be an Information Bureau on their own. We appointed, instead, the Assistant Walks Secretary to the billet of Information Officer - on the understanding that successive Assistant Walks Secretaries would also carry the banner.
There was a suggestion in the Social Report that we hold a Winter Party, and Social Secretary Edna Stretton translated this into a motion, adding that it should preferably be held in the Club room. Someone overburdened with funds urged that it be a proper dance done in style at a City cafe, and moved an amendment to that effect, but the officers concerned expressed alarm: the Treasurer pointed out that if the Club funds were not to be diverted to paying the entertainment tax, as with the Christmas Party, a very high admission would have to be charged. The Club could scarcely afford to bear the losses on every social function, and he doubted if people would be so eager to lay out perhaps 12/- to attend a winter party. Edna Stretton said flatly she was not prepared to make bookings at a City restaurant and take the chance that it may be badly attended. Amendment lost and motion carried.
In the Federation Report was a call to consider whether the Arnold Reay Bequest might be used to purchase some land near Yeola: speakers promptly argued that the late Arnold Reay was himself a lover of Blue Gum, and would have preferred that his fund be devoted to purchase of Mr. Hordern's block on the south bank of the Grose. Dormie moved that we favoured use of the Bequest to buy into Yeola, but generally opinion was hard against the resolution: evidence that the large blocks at Yeola would probably cost from £700 to £1,000, and comments on devastation already caused to the favourite camping spot were quoted, and the motion was lost.
We relaxed to elect Jim Hooper to the Committee in succession to Jack Wren: the vote was by show of hands after the two nominees respectively moved and seconded that it be held in that brazen fashion. Next John Edwards and Roy Bruggy were appointed Room Stewards, and an announcement made that rising costs had caused an increase in the cost of replacement badges to 4/-.
We had done nothing about the Swimming Carnival it appeared: Bob Chapman and Roy Bruggy ironed it out with offers to convert their walks to Lake Eckersley on 17th and 18th February into the Carnival: we elected Bill Henley and Claude Hynes (subject to his consent) to be organisers.
Gil Webb brought up the matter of the destructive fire in Paddy's store, and suggested a working bee when Paddy needed it to build shelves, move gear, etc. He offered to be organiser, and we approved the motion.
Brian Harvey issued a dire warning that the January magazine would be the last issue on the old subscription, and Bill Cosgrove waved before the meeting a pamphlet produced by the Tourist Bureau and commending summer holidays at Kosciusko. The offending matter was an illustration of a “glamourous blonde” plucking snow daisies, which we agreed was a bad thing even if the daisies weren't protected by the Act. We resolved to write the Tourist Bureau, suggesting it was hardly good conservation.
Mention of Kosciusko brought Dormie to his feet with two motions: first that we urge the authorities to police the regulations regarding carrying of firearms in the Kosciusko State Park - he had seen a strange character fire a shot at random towards each point Of the compass on New Year's Eve. This “shooting a panorama” as Dormie put it, occurred at Kosciusko summit itself. We agreed to put the case. Dormie also questioned the presence of certain officials of the Snowy Mountains Authority at Adams Hut and Seaman's Hut, but it proved that the Adams Hut was a new building, not the one previously intended for skiers, and the people at Seaman's were a Park Ranger and a stone mason working on the new hut at Lake Albina. These would certainly not be present when the need for shelter at Seaman's would be urgent (in winter) and the motion lapsed.
Sandwiched in amongst the Kosciusko motions was one that we resubmit our views on Era to the Minister for Lands, which we approved. It will make our fourth representation since last March, and will probably also be acknowledged.
We considered the night well spent and closed down at 9.50 p.m.
Allen A. Strom.
We had looked southward from the Bogongs, northward from the Baw Baws, westward from the coastal plains at Sale and Stratford; always the same maze of hills, the same jagged blue skyline - Mt. Wellington, Mt. Howitt, the Bennison High Plain. We wanted to fill in that gap where the King, the MacAlister and the Avon Rivers find a birthplace; we wanted to see the mysterious Tarli Karng, the valleys of mountain ash still untouched by man, the Crosscut Saw so often spoken of with hushed voices, and the tilted razor-edges of the Barry Mountains. And we weren't disappointed!
The necessary information about the area came from our mutual friends “The Melbourne Bushwalkers”, who have the area well taped on three maps. The route was decided - car from Maffra to Licola, then Mt. Margaret - Riggall's Spur - Lake Tarli Karng - Mt. Wellington - Mt. Arbuckle - Mt. Howitt - the Crosscut Saw - Mt. Koonika - the Cobbler Plateau - Benniels - car to Whitfield - about ninety to ninety-five miles.
The trip by car up the MacAlister from Wiffra was in itself a revelation. First the Glenmaggie Reservoir, then rich river flats, splendent in their green brilliance, trapped by steep, brooding mountains. A peculiar chocolate-red slate, tilted at an angle, dominates the landscape, throwing a contrast into the green of the trees - but they're not a usual green - rather, a golden to orange tint seems to flash over a grey-green that reminds one of the mulga cut west.
At Licola Bridge we leave the car and follow up along the MacAlister to register our presence at the home of W. Reeve, the last house we are likely to see for some days. For this is primitive country at present. How long it will stay, perhaps the Forestry Commission knows best.
Reeve speaks of the terrible '39 fires; and as we scan the skyline with its heavily wooded peaks and towering ridges, we can share his fear of the Red Devil and maybe live again in miniature, Black Friday, when trees and houses burst into flames five miles ahead of the fire, when water holes and tanks were hot enough to scald a man, when a ball of incandescent gas came hurtling from the heavens to bring death and desolation in its path. The wounds heal, Nature covers the bare skin - but for those who look deeply, the scars are there - blackened stumps, gaunt giants stretching bare arms to the sky, undergrowth gone mad and choking good grazing land, and, on the minds of men, the memories of losses and terrible anxiety. Through the length and breadth of Gippsland the same story is told - there can be no mistake about the aftermath of fire.
The track to the Dolodrook via Mt. Margaret is difficult to locate but once upon it, only the uninitiated will have difficulty in going through. The approach to Mt. Wellington by this route is full of contemplation as one watches the mountain with its Gable End, its Sentinel and the Spion Kop, draw closer. The Valley of the Doledrook and the Middle Wellington are both very attractive, and as I look back now, I am sure we missed much by having to push through to Lake Tarli Karng in one day.
Tarli Karng! Staggering up Riggall's Spur, fighting through wretched undergrowth, sweating with ten day's tucker aboard and the humidity more than ninety per cent, we conjectured on the position of the elusive Tarli. Abreast a rise and there, placid beneath the hanging crags of the Sentinels, an outer edge of the Wellington Plateau, rests the Lake, blue in the late afternoon's light. For many years this lake lay hidden, as it is not readily visible from the Plateau: and as the visitors to the Plateau came from a different direction the presence of Tarli Karng was not suspected.
The pleasure of discovery came to one Riggall, who following the ridge now bearing his name, saw the majestic stretch of water from the same spot that gave us our first, not-easily-forgotten view. Apparently considerable controversy surrounds the origin of the lake and consequently maybe, we should “reserve our judgement”. Suffice to say, there is nothing of equal beauty in the lakes of the Kosciusko Area. This has an air of old world mystery - something more than a geological phenomena.
Snow plains anywhere are “a thing of beauty and a joy forever”; but the variety and gentle undulating greenness of these plains are not to be excelled by any we have seen before. Most are “pocket editions”, the Big Plain at Mt. Wellington being the largest; and even this would not equal the dimensions of many at Kosciusko. To walk through heavy forests of Snow Gum and burst suddenly upon the even contour of a plain is variety at its best - particularly when we remember Helme's Plain, Bryce's Plain and Hewitt Plain, each with its Hut set in a sylvan atmosphere. Helme's Plain comes back as the land where we arrived in a mist making Kelly's Hut by compass bearing - a land of complete mystery 'till the wind, changing, brought us our first exciting glimpse of tree-fringed greenness. The first sight of Howitt Plain with the Hut close by the timber came in the early afternoon as grey clouds, driven by a high wind, poured over from Howitt Mountain and the high peaks of the north. Here was Nature at Her best as we left the trees behind, the charm of grazing cattle on a verdant background.
The gorges drop deeply to the right and left of the range and many views of wild confusion are close at hand. The weird raggedness of Buffalo dominates the northern skies, whilst Bogong and Mt. Erica are “always with us”. The climax comes however, when after leaving the pleasant campsite of “MacAlister Spring” - the cradle of the MacAlister - the whole world falls apart and we look out across the Terrible Hollow - the headwaters of the Wonnangatta. Here is the fury of geological processes at its best - tilted strata has given a peculiar “list” to the mountain peaks, The Razor and The Viking showing the greatest evidence - weathering has brought many streams to head beneath the open snow-line crown of Howitt.
Walking the Crosscut Saw is an experience of physical exertion, not particularly exacting, even though we agree with the name adopted for Mt. Buggery and the sub-title to Mt. Speculation - Precocious. But it is the changing variety of mountain peak and rock-bound ravine that summates the experience. The panorama is too extensive to detail and one must be satisfied to say that it includes the already mentioned tops of Buffalo, Bogong, Baw Baw and the Great Divide to the North, together with Buller, Cobbler, the Barry Mountains, Skene, Crinoline and the southern complex of lofty partners.
As if to top an already mighty repast, there comes the view from Koonika, a farewell glimpse as it were, before we leave these majestic lands, the mountain sides gay with white, yellow and blue everlastings, dotted with boronia and purple mints. From the Cobbler, the western lands are ours, yellow now as the summer takes control and the plain grasses fruit and die. It's “goodbye” to the four, five and six thousand foot contours as we leave Cobbler Huts to walk into the amazing hospitality of Mrs. Bennie at “Rivermount” on the Rose River. Here we see the results of years of contact with the Melbourne Walking Club (est. 1894) and the warmth that efficient Club practice has built up for all walkers. The new generation of bushwalkers have here, as elsewhere, a fine name to maintain.
As the chocolate-red of Typo, the mountain at the back of Bennie's, sunk into the everpresent blue of the range, we drew nearer to Whitfield and a tour that rates high amongst the best that we have attempted, drifted pleasantly into the portals of memory. A land of unusual beauty and attraction, Sydney walkers might well look to it for that summer “agistment”. Nature Protectionists in Victoria have already spoken of National Parks in the area and indeed, one is led to wonder why a continuous parkland for the entire alpine area from the Indi to Mt. Erica is not possible - maybe a continuation south of our Kosciusko State Park.
by Edna Garrad.
Party: Harry Ellis, Marion Ellis and self.
We arrived at the trig on Mt. Howitt at about 9 a.m. Harry, who wanted to take photographs of the glorious panorama of mountains, was somewhat disappointed at the moist atmosphere - heavy clouds above and white mists swirling up out of the valleys. Marion and I were enthralled at the lovely effects of the mist and mountains. After waiting some time in the hope that the mists would clear a little, we proceeded down the Staircase route to the Howqua.
This is a grand ridge. First we descended through alpine daisies of all kinds, then the Snow Gums, followed by Woolly Butts and Mountain Ash. From now on the trees were fine and we continually stopped to admire them.
For some years I have been wanting to see the Howqua. Mouldy Harrison has described it to us and I had read of trips made by Melbourne walkers. On that first day, however, we were very disappointed. It seemed an ordinary mountain stream. The track was scrubby and did not give many glimpses of the river. We camped near Bindaree Hut and the flat here was spoilt by the scaffolding left by surveyors when they abandoned a camp. Next morning we really started to enjoy this section of our trip. The weather was good - the nights considerably cooler than we had experienced on the mountain tops - the track wound over the ridges some distance above the river and the views through the trees were delightful. The river increased in size and beauty. It is a swift running, clear stream with rocky bottom, and we saw lots of trout. The crossings were quite pleasant and although the water was too cold for much swimming we had lots of bracing dips. Each morning we were awakened by a variety of bird songs, and this was one of the very pleasant features of the trip.
It was a real holiday. We walked about half a day and lazed the rest. Marion was continually missing picking bramble berries, and Harry spent a lot of time watching the birds, animals and fish around the river.
We camped a night near Ritchies Hut. This is a very substantial hut built by a local station owner. It is comfortably fitted up and contained an amazing assortment of tinned foods.
Another interesting hut was situated at the foot of a cleared ridge. It was a pre-fabricated type (privately owned), cream with a red roof, and on the wall facing the river were numerous shutters which could be opened at any level to admit light, breeze, etc. Numbers of English trees and shrubs have been planted about and in a few years this should be a really lovely holiday spot. We met the occupants later - trout fishermen - and they donated three excellent trout which we grilled for our dinner.
On the last night we camped near the home of Mr. Fred Fry, a Forestry Officer. He talked to us of the gold mining days when there was a small settlement on this portion of the Howqua, and of the outsize water wheel used in connection with the smelting. Fires have wiped out all signs practically of the “town”. We thoroughly enjoyed his entertaining conversation and good spirits.
Had we not been looking forward to Mt. Buller and Mt. Stirling we would have been very sad indeed to leave the Howqua.
Annual subscribers who have not renewed their subscriptions are reminded that this is now overdue. The Business Manager will be very pleased if they would remit immediately. Subscription rates are:- For magazines held in clubroom 5/-; posted 7/-.
by Jim Brown.
The walk actually scheduled for August 18/19/20 was Yerranderie - Tonalli River - Lacy's Gap - Lacy's Creek - Bimlow - Brimstone Gully - Oakdale: owing to severe going in Lacy's Creek the stage from Bimlow to Oakdale was not accomplished and this report covers only the first major leg, from Yerranderie to Bimlow.
We left Yerranderie by the road north from the Silver Mines Hotel and descended to the Tonalli River. This road forks several times and the branch we followed brought us to the river about half a mile downstream from the point intended.
Lacy's Gap is not a well-defined notch in the skyline like Bull Island Gap, Byrnes Gap and others nearby. The best landmark is seen shortly before making the final descent into the Tonalli on the south bank of the river. A large crag, which later proves to be a projecting point on the main scarp, appears to be superimposed on the top of the range, and dominates the summit north of the Tonalli. Ascend any of the several spurs which run up to this crag, skirt around its western face, and climb to the top through the obvious saddle behind it.
It is wise to turn slightly northwest on top to avoid the headwaters of creeks flowing back to the Tonalli. Hold this bearing about half a mile, turning north to pick up any creek flowing north or north-east. These are the heads of Lacy's Creek. Follow down, descending into the gorge before the walls become impassable.
The going at the top of Lacy's Creek is very rough, and for a mile or so it is 1/2-mile an hour stuff, then improving to about mile-an-hour. It remains so for six or seven miles, and it took us from early afternoon Saturday to lunch on Sunday to travel about 8 miles from the top of Lacy's Gap. Dense growth, with lawyer vines, fallen timber and thorny scrub persist all this way, the better going being two or three hundred feet above the creek as a rule: we found the right bank negotiable throughout. There is no evidence of the intrusion of man or domestic animals all the way down this portion of Lacy's.
At the lower gorge of the creek we first made a crossing to the left bank, climbed over the foot of a spur which gave us our first extensive view ahead down the valley, and descending steeply into the creek, crossed and stuck close to the water on the right bank through a very rough patch. This appeared to be the best way of passing through the gorge, as there were cliffs on the west side.
Just below this point the valley opens, grassy flats are encountered, and cattle pads and later timber roads lead out to Bimlow, five miles away.
The trip took us the whole week-end from 8 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday: we did not move rapidly, however, and rested hourly; some time was lost in locating Lacy's Gap. No doubt a small strong party, with sure knowledge of the Gap, and wearing gaiters or slacks as protection against the lawyers and prickles, could clip our times considerably.
Reported simply because to my knowledge no other club party has been along Mini Mini Range in the last few years. We expected fairly rough prickly conditions after the wet winter, but found it reasonably open and quite easy.
The timber trail running off the Jenolan Road to the east about 1/2-mile north of “The Summit” is correct, and, although much cut about by trucks there is little difficulty in following it down into a shallow hollow about 600 yards from the road. The spring shown on the Tourist Map lies about 200 yards down the valley from the point where the road crosses, and this is the only reliable water on the range.
The clear trail ascends the other side of the hollow, and maintains a fairly general easterly direction for about a mile, where it forks: bear right. Undulating, the deteriorating road continues on a south-easterly and at times almost southerly line for somewhat over another mile, sidles a small hillock with sparse timber, and then bears about east again.
After a short distance, say, half a mile, a descent is made into a saddle, and the road can be seen veering away to the south along the flank of the range. It is time to leave the track which, apparently, leaves the Mini Mini Range on a long spur running out towards Little River. Ascend the hill beyond the saddle, bearing about 55-degrees magnetic, and once on top, keep to the ridge top. It is reasonably safe from this point onward to keep close to the north edge of the Mini Mini Range, looking out towards Table Rock and Cullenbenbong Valley. Beware of any small ridges running north and north-east, which drop away steeply into Cullenbenbong.
From the point of leaving the timber road it takes about two hours along the crown of the ridge to Gibraltar Rocks at the extreme end of the Mini Mini Range. The forest is open and there is no dense scrub. Views to the north are delightful. For the last mile or two before reaching the rim rocks, a succession of small, abrupt saddles are negotiated, and here the scrub is slightly heavier.
The way of descent from Gibraltar Rocks is a very obvious and easy chimney located right amidst the rocks themselves. A variety of ridges down into Gibraltar or Cullenbengong Creeks may be followed.
By Paul Barnes.
Although one hesitates to get into print to cross swords (or should it be pens?) with an Editor, it seems that our January editorial on Kosciusko State Park could be accused of containing more than a fair shore of carping criticism. Let us try to be equitable in handing out blame for the wrongs which undoubtedly need to be righted!
Bushwalkers hardly need to be told how poor is the train-and-bus service to Kosciusko Hotel. It would be no exaggeration to say that travelling time could, and should, be at least halved if a decent service were provided by our Government Railways. But!!! why criticise the situation of the Kosciusko area? Let us rather direct our energies toward the Commissioner for Railways, and perhaps get some results.
Our Editor has a very peevish approach to dams. Where has he been walking all these years, that he has not seen dams which, far from being “an ugly stretch of water surrounded by dead trees, bare rocks and mud” might be better described as an attractive stretch of water surrounded by virgin bush?
Decrying the Snowy Mountains Scheme in general will get us nowhere. It is because I know so well how few are the forces of the true conservationists that I enjoin bushwalkers to concentrate on constructive criticism, to espouse positive things, rather than turn their faces, Canute-like, against the most colossal scheme of water conservation that Australia has ever seen.
It could be that, with concerted effort by walkers, we will yet see in both the Kosciusko and the Blue Mountains Parks not only great dams, but also those large areas “preserved for the enjoyment of the people”.
(We did not presume to criticise the position of Kosciusko. What we did say was that “it is not well situated for a park because it is too far away to be seen and enjoyed by the average person”. True, we have not seen many dams during walks because it is illegal to walk in most catchment areas, but we have seen some, and have seen many pictures of others. None of them were “attractive stretches of water surrounded by virgin bush”. Virgin bush can't grow between the high and low water marks of dams. We did not attempt to “decry the Snowy Mountains Scheme in general” but pointed out that it will disfigure the natural features of the landscape. The point of the editorial was that a park is “a tract of land set aside to be preserved as near its natural state as possible… to which the public have access for recreation and enjoyment”, that the Kosciusko area is not such a place and therefore should not be called a “park”. There is a world of difference between a catchment area devoted to dams and hydro-electric schemes and an area devoted to the preservation of the natural scenery and bushlands, which, we believe, is what bushwalkers mean when they advocate parkland reserve. If this is not what they mean then why protest against roads, sewerage dumps, buildings and other developments in parks?
Whatever views bushwalkers have on the Snowy Mountains Scheme protest would be futile, but it is not too late to save many other scenic areas of lesser economic value. - Ed.)
By Brian Harvey.
The prohibited camping areas appear to include the island.
Has expressed his thanks and appreciation in respect of the members of the Cromach Club who took part in the search for lost tourist in Kedumba last October.
The Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission is unable to supply active assistance. Federation anti-erosion working bee will be held in April.
Has thanked Federation for offer to supply fire-watchers during accute bush-fire danger periods, but no information was forwarded relative to any necessary organisation to carry out the volunteer work.
It was reso1ved that the Conservation Bureau be authorised to apply this bequest towards the purchase of Mr. Hordern's land opposite Blue Gum Forest.
The S.B.W. motion was adopted that the large rocky landmark at Lacy's Gap be known as “Boorong”. “Peak” was omitted, in case a local name is unearthed.
Owing to the dislocation of Paddy's business, all communications should be made with Mr. Wardhaugh, the Section Secretary, BW4461, or MU3430.
Will be held on 4th May at the University Union Hall. Tickets will be 10/6d. and will be available this month.
All correspondence should be posted to C/- Federation Secretary, Mr. Stan Cottier, 287 Forest Road, Kirrawee.
The Conservation Bureau reported that it appeared the leaseholder of the snow lease embracing Mawson Hut was unable to renew his lease and would demolish the Hut. Federation has written to Kosciusko State Park Trust requesting the Hut be preserved. It is important to note that soil erosion was given as the reason for the termination of the lease.
Will be held on 19th-20th-21st May at a site to be chosen.
A large number was damaged in Paddy's fire. These have been handed to the Red Cross.
To vary the quorum was lost and the S.B.W. delegates gave notice of motion to increase the proposed quorum to 15 delegates representing 9 clubs.
It is reported the Trades and Labour Council will establish a Holiday Camp on land previously owned by the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company. This may entail road construction.
It was adopted that Federation should express its regret to Paddy on his recent disastrous fire loss, offer any help in the re-establishment of his business, and thank him for the use of his premises for meetings in the past.
At Paddy's shop was covered by insurance at the time of the fire, but fortunately the only damage was by water and smoke.
Calling all photographers! We're having 7a slide night on 16th Feb., and we want to see all of those masterpieces. Remember, we have our own projector and it's there for you to try. Sorry to disappoint you, but there will be no play night on 23rd. We found it impossible to put on the show on 23rd., so there'll be a free night instead. The Swimming Carnival will be held on 17th and 18th Feb. at Lake Eckersley. See details of Bob Chapman's walk on the current programme.