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LETTER: Possibilities v actual

SIR, – In The Weekly Advertiser article about ‘potential tourism opportunities’ at Djurite-Mt Arapiles, November 4, it makes me wonder about a few things.

Tim McCartney talks about all the opportunities, but not about how to take advantage of those opportunities.

He also says Barengi Gadjin Land Council is ‘invested’ in sharing the economic benefits with Natimuk.  How exactly?  Financially?  Is the BGLC going to employ local residents in some capacity?

When is the BGLC going to start talking to the town of Natimuk? We had a town meeting last year, which the BGLC decided not to attend.

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I’m also curious as to how you turn possibilities into actual tourists coming to the area, because it’s a 4.5-hour drive from Melbourne to Horsham, and a 5.5-hour drive from Adelaide. Quoting research done in WA seems a bit distant to the situation here.

What are people going to see or do when they get to Djurite-Mt Arapiles? Are there stone tools? Will the scar tree that fell over be lifted off the ground? It’s huge, arguably more significant than quarry sites and at immediate risk of degradation due to environmental factors.

Will there be investment in a cultural centre and who will pay for that?

How culturally significant are quarries? Will people, outside of students of Aboriginal culture and geologists, drive several hours to look at some vague marks in the rocks? 

And with comments on the resiliency of the Natimuk community, have Mr McCartney or Mr Harradine been out here and talked to the local community?

The climbers are talking about selling up and leaving now. Has anyone thought about how many professionals and tradies have moved to Horsham because of climbing at Mt Arapiles?

Parks Victoria has destroyed the relationship with climbers across the Grampians, and that has damaged tourism significantly in the area. How will driving climbers out of Djurite-Natimuk-Horsham be any different?

Lemuel Saunders



 EDITORIAL: A need for balance

The entire November 11, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!