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Victorian national parks closed after social distancing breaches

Victorian national parks closed after social distancing breaches
June 1, 2020

Victorian authorities have closed several major national parks due to concerns visitors are failing to observe social distancing laws.

On Saturday, Victoria Police and Parks Victoria announced the 1000 Steps, Redwood Forest Warburton and the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden were no longer open to the public and would remain closed until 11.59pm on Sunday.

Victoria’s national parks have been open for just over two weeks, on the condition visitors observe physical distancing of 1.5 metres and gather in groups of 10 people or fewer.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, once the ban was lifted, previously locked down people flocked to parks throughout the state.

Victoria Police said "significant traffic issues" meant it would maintain a presence in the Yarra Ranges area over the weekend, advising, in a statement “the large number of cars in the vicinity of these locations are causing significant road safety issues for pedestrians and road users.

"Officers were also concerned about the number of vehicles parked illegally, which was impacting traffic flow and the safety of the public in the area.

"Police will maintain a presence in the Yarra Ranges area over the weekend."

Parks Victoria reminded visitors to use good judgment and consider heading to alternative destinations if parks are busy.

The Victorian Government agency urged people to “remember to stay safe by maintaining good hygiene, keep your distance from others and if you feel unwell stay home.”

The 1000 steps was previously open but restricted to a singular direction to maintain physical distancing.

Buchan Caves Reserve, William Ricketts Sanctuary, Lower Glenelg National Park, Point Nepean National Park, Serendip Sanctuary, St Kilda Pier, State Coal Mine, the Twelve Apostles and Werribee Park all remain closed.

Image: The 1000 Steps walk in the Dandenong Ranges. Courtesy of Parks Victoria.

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24th May 2020 - Victorian Government announces opening of gyms and ski fields from 22nd June

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17th February 2020 - Parks Victoria collaborates to protect historic huts from bushfires

12th March 2019 - YMCA Victoria partners with Parks Victoria to deliver training for inclusive outdoor recreation program

8th January 2019 - Parks Victoria combats anti-social activities at Wilsons Promontory National Park

9th November 2018 - Parks Victoria announces $1.2 million infrastructure facelift for popular open spaces

18th May 2020 - Plans unveiled for Geelong’s new nature reserve

14th August 2019 - Phillip Island Nature Parks pays tribute to the World’s Rangers

25th March 2018 - Nature powered adventure park opens in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road region

14th November 2018 - Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park receives international ocean refuge award

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