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Visitors urged to stay safe on tracks and trails this long weekend

Friday 6 June, 2014

Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries are urging visitors to Victoria’s parks and forests to take care on tracks and trails following recent rain.

“It will be very wet out there this long weekend, so we urge people to respect areas that are closed, slow down, and be careful when travelling through parks and forests,” said Parks Victoria’s General Manager Regional Services, Chris Rose.   “Safety for visitors, volunteers and staff working in parks and forests is paramount. Please plan your trip to make sure you, your friends and families safely enjoy your visits to parks and forests.”

Some tracks and trails will officially close from 13 June as part of the seasonal road closure program in the interests of driver safety, as well as to protect forest and park roads from damage during the winter months.

"Some forest roads and tracks close when the track surfaces are most likely to be damaged by vehicles," DEPI State Roads and Bridges Planning Manager Tony Dowler said.  "The closures are important because our forest roads and tracks become much more difficult for drivers to use safely over this period.

"Some forest tracks would suffer significant damage if left open all year round so we assess them each year and then, after consultation with users including Four Wheel Drive Victoria, we decide which tracks need to be closed."

Chris Rose said the partnership approach helps to protect parks based on the best available information.

"Working with Four Wheel Drive Victoria helps us get information to ensure we protect park roads and tracks, reduce erosion and cut the amount of silt which is washed into rivers, creeks and reservoirs,” said Mr Rose. "We want everyone who uses the roads and tracks in our forests and parks to make sure they know which ones are still open over winter and stick to those during the closure period. Most of the roads and tracks are re-opened in early November, in time for the Melbourne Cup Weekend.

Information about road and track closures is available from the Public Access Map site in the recreation and tourism section at www.depi.vic.gov.au. Check for any maps or changes affecting the park you intend to visit by going directly to the park page.

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