BUSHWALKERS URGED TO ‘THINK BEFORE YOU TREK’

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The NSW Government is urging bushwalkers to and other outdoor enthusiasts to conduct their activities with adequate planning and safety equipment, as record numbers visit the beautiful Blue Mountains National Park.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott called for bushwalkers to ensure they took adequate safety equipment in case they needed assistance.

“You can loan a Personal Locator Beacon for free when you register your trip with Blue Mountains Police or the National Parks and Wildlife Service,” Mr Elliott said.

“Police and other emergency services will be able to assist you promptly if you take these important precautionary steps,” Mr Elliott said.

‘Think Before You TREK’ is a bush safety initiative between the NSW Police Force and the National Parks and Wildlife Service which promotes the benefits of planning ahead for bushwalking trips:

  • T – Take adequate supplies of food, water, navigation and first aid equipment
  • R – Register your planned route and tell friends and family when you expect to return
  • E – Emergency beacons (PLB’s) are available free of charge from NSW Police and National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS)
  • K – Keep to your planned route and follow the map and walking trails

Environment Minister Matt Kean, said that visitors have been flocking to enjoy Blue Mountains National Park.

“The Grand Canyon track saw three times more visitors than in June last year. Last month appears to be the busiest on record in Blue Mountains National Park,” Mr Kean said.

“We’ve seen cases where bushwalkers, climbers, canyoners and runners have not made adequate preparations and have inadvertently put themselves at risk.

“For their own safety, visitors need to obey signs and not enter any closed areas. Check the NPWS website for closures and alerts before leaving home.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres, encouraged people to visit the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas.

“It’s no surprise that people are taking the opportunity to explore this world famous natural heritage area, especially with the recent lockdowns. But it’s important that the visit is remembered for all the right reasons,” Mr Ayres said.

Sergeant Dallas Atkinson of Blue Mountains Police Rescue have responded to 37 calls for assistance in Blue Mountains National Park over the past two months.

“It is vital that your planned outdoor activities are suited to your skill levels and experience. Take the equipment you need, register your trip, take a PLB and Think Before You TREK.”

Blue Mountains NPWS Acting Director Cameron Chaffey said visitors could check the Alerts Lists on NPWS website for track and park closures before leaving home.

“Around 68 per cent of Blue Mountains National Park was affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires and many walking trails remain closed while clean-up operations continue,” Mr Chaffey said.

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