Traditional Owners are engaged with Parks Victoria through collaborative governance on the Grampians Peaks Trail. The full delivery of the project has been pushed out to 2020 as a result of a native title claim lodged on 27 May 2016 which extends across the entire Grampians National Park. To enable works to progress, and to ensure native title is maintained under section 238 of the Native Title Act 1993, an Integrated Land Use Agreement was signed by the State of Victoria with the claimants on 5 June 2018.
Construction of Stage Two is well underway and continues with upgrades to approximately 60 km of existing walking tracks that will form part of the trail. Stage Two will be complete in September this year.
Approvals for the new works – approximately 85-100 km of new walking tracks and 10 new hiker camps and one school camp – are nearly complete.
There will be a variety of experiences on offer including guiding hikes for day walkers, opportunities for school groups. These experiences offer:
?Greater accessibility and flexibility
? Range of options for all levels of walkers
? Variety of three day/two night walking experiences Family friendly opportunities
? An opportunity to explore the natural and cultural heritage of the Grampians National Park
Major Mitchell Plateau
The final section of the Major Mitchell Plateau walk from Mt William Summit to Jimmy Creek campground recently opened after upgrades. The walk now features more elevated boardwalk sections as well as specialised rock steps, flagstone paving, improved drainage and track resurfacing.
Mt Stapylton and Mt Abrupt walking tracks continue to be upgraded with the addition of over 500 new hand-built rock steps, flagstone paving, new drainage, a retaining wall, removal of trip hazards and track resurfacing. The walking tracks remain open while works are being undertaken, and will be completed by the end of September.
Trail alignment and hiker camps
We’re currently working through different trail alignment options. Ongoing minor changes to overall distances between proposed hiker camp locations will continue to occur for the duration of the project as on ground scoping continues.
McGregor Coxall have partnered with Noxon Giffen to design the shelter and toilets for each hiker camp. Local and state bushwalking clubs have provided feedback on the current design which has all been largely positive.
Planning and permit approvals
The permit process is progressing for the removal of vegetation under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act with a Native Vegetation Counterbalance Offset Strategy pending.
Approvals have been received for:
- Cultural Heritage Management Plan
- Permission to remove vegetation under the Environmental, Biodiversity and Conservation Act
- Local Govt Planning Permit from Northern Grampians Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council and Ararat Rural City Council
- Permission to establish a new walking track within the Major Mitchell remote natural area (National Park Act 1975)
- Integrated land use agreement with the Gariwerd Native Title Clam Group
Parks Victoria will be in a planning phase until November to scope works for the new tracks
The permit for Mt Christabel building removal is still pending and work is anticipated to commence in spring when it is drier.