Looking south from Reid’s lookout I see the vast burn on the Victoria Range ends in a brown line where it meets the green of the Victoria Valley. This is a role reversal from only a few years ago when the Victoria Range was an island of hopeful green rising from the brown/black devastation of that same valley. At the time, 7years ago, I remember hoping against hope that the Victoria Range would survive as an unburned repository of Grampians ecology. Now that is has burned through so extensively I wonder how much recovery work will happen in that part of the park. The part that is far more seldom visited by tourists. A part not so vital to the local, state and national economy. A part thus more easily forgotten by the powers that be.
As that is my favourite part, and the area I most often visit from my home in Melbourne, I am wondering when the roads and walking tracks will be re-opened. I imagine it might take a long time. Or perhaps, considering the government’s new policy, which they announced on Easter Sunday – so as to hide it – they might indeed open the roads; only so that a private company can build a shop or resort in the part of the Park that is the most wild and quiet and peaceful and remote.
I certainly hope we can succeed in fighting this new battle to maintain the integrity of our National Parks. I personally am writing to everyone I know and urging them to protest.
What I love most about the Buandik/Manja area is that it has changed so little in the 40 plus years I have been camping there. The fire is a huge change – but please let it be the only change. One that the bush, though it will struggle, is more likely to recover from than an onslaught of private development.