PWS has released the 198 page feasibility study for its ‘next iconic walk’, proposed to be constructed in the Tyndall Range.
We have not yet had an opportunity to read right through this document. We plan to publish a more detailed critique soon.
This proposal for a three day walk from the Anthony Road near Lake Plimsoll south to the Lake Margaret Power Station is a continuation of the Three Capes model with proposed charges (per individual, for a three-day walk) of $576 (staying in a cabin), or $288 for campers. Total cost of construction is estimated at $37 million. Surely this much money could be better spent elsewhere!
We previously raised concerns about both the concept and the process for selecting and designing the walk. See here.
The most obvious concern from a recreational perspective is the west coast weather – it is irresponsible to encourage inexperienced walkers into this area, even with refuge shelters along the track. The proposed route does not include the alpine plateau, the most environmentally sensitive part of the range. But it provides far easier access to areas high on the eastern side of the range than is currently available. It is wildly optimistic of PWS to think that a pad will not soon develop up the most obvious ridgeline, resulting in an increase in trampling impacts in an extremely sensitive area.
An ABC News article (see here) raises concerns about credibility of the survey which led to the selection of the three day walk option (two day and daywalk options had also been considered).
The only good news is that construction will not commence until late 2023 – there may be time for sanity to prevail.