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Incorrect NPWS Signs

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 30 November 2009

Spotted yesterday at Cascades (top of Quarry track climb), even though RFS site showed no ban and a check of the NPWS site showed no closures.

As with the Manly Dam rangers, NPWS can only garner respect for their signs and closures if they are properly implemented. Less than impressed with their processes right now.

marhleet's picture

qualified with the nice 'while current total fire ban is in place'
but that does require us to be savvy and check before hand

does make you stop and think, did I check all this before I went out ?

Rob's picture

The 'current' implies... well... the total fire ban they are talking about is current. As in, in place. As in, right now.

hawkeye's picture

I'm with Rob. I think it's a disgrace, especially as there are $$ sanctions for disobeying posted trail closures.

If they don't remove them when they're not in force, people will just learn to ignore them. And they will be justified: on a day count basis, they will be wrong far more often than they are right.

Rob's picture

I've had an update on this and it seems the signs are just poorly worded.

It is now my understanding that they are supposed to convey the message that there may have been total fire bans in the area recently and that you are responsible for checking the status with RFS or local NPWS office before proceeding.

This is of little comfort if you haven't had their purpose explained to you that way. The 'current' part as stated does appear to be telling you a TFB is in force. What if you have no phone in your pocket or have been out all day away from internet access or didn't check before your ride, or just didn't even know to even look until you got to this point?

Another point of interest is that we saw this sign only after being in this part of Garigal National Park for quite some time. We entered via Cascades trail by Acron oval and saw nothing there. Admittedly we did come directly from the oval down a 20m or so bit of single track (NOT illegal as outside of NPWS boundary) but that only goes to show it would be almost impossible for NPWS to cover all the entrances.

Oh, and I don't think we saw a sign like this anywhere in the vicinity of Ryland track where we started the ride either.

marhleet's picture

while the current fire ban is in place
and if it's tomorrow and yesterdays fireban isn't still there, you'd know

needs a few more words and a subtle prompt or two to better get the message accross
but it does make you think before you fry yourself

philberesford's picture

I can't quite read the small print but was there a phone number you could call or website you could visit for more details printed on the notice?

Rob's picture

There is a phone and fax number at the bottom.

philberesford's picture

Does anyone even use this tech anymore?


loki's picture

The other question regarding these fire bans is why aren't we allowed to ride the fire trails when a total fire ban is in place?
Are they worried that a pushbike is going to start a fire?
Or are they worried we may get stuck in the bush if a fire does start? If so why start caring about our safety now?
What's the next step - banning everyone from going to the beach on hot days as they might get sunburnt?

Brian's picture

I think they are reacting to the fires that occured in Victoria and the new catastrophic. I can't remember them getting closed previous years.

hawkeye's picture

I'd suggest it's risk management:
1: So there's no/low risk that arsonists get in and set a fire
2: So they don't have to risk life and limb to come get us if something does break out.

Fair enough, I suppose. All or nothing is a lot more practical to monitor. Frustrating for us, though. Sad

My issue is with the inappropriate sign. While the bottom half of the sign does qualify "while the current ban is in place", the top half is screaming that there IS a TFB and track closure in place RIGHT NOW.

To say this is confusing is being rather kind. I still reckon it's outright misleading. This just doesn't help their cause - they're effectively training walkers, bikers and horsey folk to take no notice of their signs, because we get used to them being wrong.

If they want to leave a permanent sign, they need to think through their wording much more carefully. This one and the others like it need to go.

Rob's picture

Yeah... a fax number is very useful when riding a bike. Don't you all carry one in your backpack?

Noel's picture

It appears to be written with the intent that it will be displayed during TFB's only. As it is being displayed when there is NO BAN they must have forgotten about what to do between TFB's OR they don't give a crap about that. Bet they don't have a listing of where the signs are. In 2 months they could be floating around the ground with the other deteriorating laminated bits of crap people display (i.e. Lost: Nature-eating-cat near a NP).

More small controlled back burning I say!

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