The campgrounds at Sandon River.
The campgrounds at Sandon River. Photographer: Adam Hourigan

LETTER: National Parks case study: Sandon - Pt I

I SUSPECT Bruce Apps either takes his boat to Sandon for the day or has a cabin there. Maybe he should try being a backpacker (no vehicle) and stay for a week. No water, no electricity and the nearest ice-cream is a 20km round trip to Brooms Head.

And it isn't any better for day picnickers either. Except for residents, day-boaters and those who think hardship camping is macho, Sandon is a dump.

Bruce wrote "Under no circumstances should the NSW NPW have the control that it has over this village", but they do. They own it lock stock and barrel. And this applies to all NPs, which with the State forests control over 50% of the CV.

It is one reason why our valley is an economic basket case. If the CVC operated Sandon it would be (nearly) as good as the fabulous Brooms Head facilities, which needs to expand to accommodate all who want to go there.

Unfortunately it can't because the NP environmentalists grabbed every square metre up to the 1980 boundaries of the village

I've spent time at the Brooms Head - Lake Arragan intersection. Most traffic is going to-and-from Brooms Head. I wonder why? I have also counted swimmers at both locations. The maximum count in the NP was six, while at Booms it was over 100. I wonder why?

The NPs indicated that Sandon is going to remain low-key. Low-key does not imply hardship camping (no power, no water and no facilities). They could use Brooms Head as a prototype camp ground, which provides people a wide range of quality facilities, while remaining low-key.

Maybe the NPs are starting to realise that 19th century facilities are not appropriate for the 21st century.

Sandon could be used as the model of what needs to be done to bring all their people "facilities" up to-date.

But by re-introducing pit toilets there, indicates they still have a long way to go in their thinking.

John Ibbotson, Gulmarrad



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