UP HIGH: A drone image of Mount Perry, where the proposed Summit Nature Walk would be.
UP HIGH: A drone image of Mount Perry, where the proposed Summit Nature Walk would be. Gavin J Murray

Ambitious plan to open up Mount Perry summit

DEDICATED bushwalkers have known about it for years, scaling the summit to take in panoramic views of the Mt Rawdon gold mine and nearby township, but now momentum is building behind a plan to open Mount Perry to day-trippers by promoting a summit walk.

Mount Perry Community Development Board president Ken Schuster said the Summit Nature Walk was one of the recommendations of the Board's Community Development Strategy 2018-20.

"(The walk) ticks a lot of boxes, environmental, educational, community, economic," Mr Schuster said.

The board produced a report in February on the project, which it presented to North Burnett Regional Council.

Mr Schuster addressed them again at the Biggenden council meeting earlier this month, where it was moved that general manager of works, Johan Louw, would provide a report to council at the June 12 meeting in Eidsvold.

 

Drone image of Mount Perry, where the proposed Summit Walk would be.
Drone image of Mount Perry, where the proposed Summit Walk would be. Gavin J Murray

"There are a number of considerations to be taken into account," council said in a statement.

"However, council endeavours to be supportive of community initiatives wherever possible.

"Once council has all the information around this initiative, it will be able to make a fully considered decision."

One of these considerations is that access to the walk would need to be via the gazetted Scrub Rd, and permission from adjacent landowners would need to be sought.

The 2200m walk, which rises to a height of 741m at the summit, would be within what is known as the Mount Perry Resources Reserve, a 1970ha regional park managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

According to the management statement produced by the previous Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (now Environment and Science), the reserve contains eight regional ecosystems, four of which have "of concern" biodiversity status.

It also contains two species of conservation significance, the endangered Cycas megacarpa tree and the rainbow bee-eater bird.

Mr Schuster said the board had applied for a Skilling Queenslanders for Work grant, which it was confident of receiving, in order to secure a crew from Gidarjil Development Corporation to begin preparation of the trail.

The Department of Environment and Science has agreed to the project "in principle, subject to an on-ground assessment and a scope of works".

 

Drone image of Mount Perry, where the proposed Summit Walk would be.
Drone image of Mount Perry, where the proposed Summit Walk would be. Gavin J Murray

The department said the viability, alignment and specifications for the trail development would be determined by "key values" of the protected area, including cultural heritage, environmental and native title considerations.

A draft Collaborative Agreement has been sent to the board, meaning QPWS would provide "in-kind support in the form of training in trail building if the project is approved and funded".

This agreement would establish a partnership between QPWS and the board for development and maintenance of the Summit Nature Walk.

"As (the department) would retain ownership and ultimate responsibility for these trails, QPWS will also install directional, safety and interpretive signage according to a set standard and will liaise with the board to confirm that regular inspections and maintenance are undertaken," the department said.

Assistance may also come from Mt Rawdon gold mine operators Evolution Mining, which in a statement, said it was working with the board to understand how it might help with the project.

Mr Schuster said the next steps were to draw all the strands together so "everyone is on the right page".

"The more momentum we get, the better," he said.

"We look at this as an investment in our future."



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