Tasmania’s favourite son Bob Brown has had an article published in todays Mockery (HERE) about a one metre wide walking track across 100km of North Western Tasmania. The plan includes closing a bunch of roads in the area that detract from the wilderness experience.  The green groups made up a new name for this area a few years ago, and the media seems to be running with it, but I won’t use it here. In the article Dr Brown writes “…Hawes spent weeks in the wilds, including days bashing through their famous horizontal and bauera undergrowth”

Bashing through the undergrowth. Take a look at the sort of impact bashing through the undergrowth has as shown here on an absolutely beautiful set of photos: http://smiffyspics.smugmug.com/Adventure/Multi-day-Hikes/Frenchmans-Cap-Dec-2013/

In particular this shot:

New track that has been cut to bypass some of the Loddon plains.

And this one taken from the www.tastrails.com website: Dirtbike Tasmania

Lovely aren’t they.

And yet for dirt bikers to cut a dirt bike track through the same bush we would be castrated by the Parks and Wildlife service. There are rules around such things, made up by men who like to make rules.

  • Council laws state that you are not allowed to take any plant, and by take they mean touch, cut, disturb or remove.
  • State laws say that you need reports on aquatic flora and fauna and the effects of water turbidity on them (read: don’t stir up the water).
  • Forestry practices tell us about the gradient/steepness of any land that determines the correct drainage such as spoon (rip) drains and gutters.
  • Raptors: you can’t go near the nests of breeding birds, and these birds have multiple nests through the bush.

Then we have endangered plants, weed control, community awareness, aboriginals and 50 other pieces of green tape that prevent us from cutting a one metre wide track through the bush – but only if we want to ride a dirt bike on it. If you want to walk on it that’s fine.

So where do we draw the line? It seems that unless you enjoy carrying a brightly coloured pack and wearing a $700 puffer jacket, you can’t enter the Tasmanian bush at all.

Maybe it’s time to cut fresh tracks in under the guise of walking tracks and enjoy them. If that means holding a 450cc enduro bike on the limiter through there then so be it. I know I would enjoy it.

Shane Smith
Head Honcho
Ph. 0409 508 247