Gorge group eager to preserve natural beauty
KILLARNEY conservationist Keith Murray wants to restrict 4WD tourism along the Condamine River Rd in an effort to preserve the area's natural beauty.
Mr Murray is president of the Cambanoora Gorge Management Group and he weighed in on the Southern Downs Regional Council's plans to address tourist traffic along the road.
"Our main objective is to protect the environment, biodiversity, and the natural, cultural and heritage values of the Cambanoora Gorge,” he said.
"We have at times presented some options to council aimed at managing the increasing number of 4WD and the inappropriate behaviour of some visitors to the gorge.
"Our group has never suggested or asked council, to close the road to traffic.”
The council commissioned an engineer's report from Kehoe Myers that laid out seven options for addressing damage to the road and the surrounding ecosystem.
Mr Murray said he favoured the seventh option, he would like to see a permit system in place to limit road use and for culverts built at the 14 river crossings along the drive.
However, he said it's still early days and there's more work to be done before the community can be confident they will make the right decision.
This includes a proper assessment of the environmental impacts from culverts and traffic along with any changes they will bring to the regions tourism industry.
"The SDRC has accepted this report and committed to community consultation. Cambanoora Gorge Management Group looks forward to involvement in that consultation,” Mr Murray said.
The council to calling for feedback from the engineer's report while Mayor Tracy Dobie this week called for calm.
"I don't believe that anyone should damage the environment but there are ways to manage it,” Cr Dobie said
"What we are trying to do is come up with an option that satisfy the most groups and it's a matter of working through work though the issues in consultation with the community.”