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Published on : Saturday, June 25, 2016
Four wheel drive enthusiasts have been given the green light to continue to enjoy the array of off-road tracks on offer in Territory national parks after the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NT government and the Four Wheel Drive Association NT.
Deputy Chief Minister Peter Styles announced the agreement had been reached between Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT (PWCNT) and 4WD NT at the Darwin 4WD, Boating & Outback Camping Expo at the Darwin Showgrounds .
“Off-roading is a popular pastime for many Territorians and this MOU will deliver improved access to four wheel drive tracks in our national parks,” Mr Styles said.
“The Territory’s rich variety of Parks and Reserves is integral to the unique, outdoor, Territory lifestyle and this MOU enhances opportunities for individuals and families to enjoy them.
“4WD NT is the peak organisation that represents four wheel drive clubs in the Territory.
“The Association promotes responsible 4WD family touring, environmental awareness, driver education and skills development.
“All 4WD clubs associated with 4WD NT are bound by the MOU. All clubs are open to anyone who owns a 4WD vehicle and members are covered by the organisation’s public liability insurance.”
President of 4WD NT Mal Stewart said he was pleased the MOU had been renewed as the more than 200 members of 4WD NT used the tracks regularly.
“The 4WD tracks give our members more variety, challenging tracks and opportunities to see and visit interesting places off the beaten track,” Mr Stewart said.
“Under the MOU, access is allowed by permit to many overgrown 4WD tracks and areas. The clearing of these tracks and keeping them open, with much of the manpower provided by 4WD NT, will also assist in allowing PWCNT to have greater fire control in these areas.”
Minister for Parks and Wildlife Bess Price said there were ample opportunities to access off-road tracks relatively close to Darwin, providing greater options for bush camping in parks and reserves.
“The areas covered by the MOU include 4WD tracks within Litchfield National Park and Mary River National Park though access will not be granted to areas deemed culturally significant,” Minister Price said.
“This will then leave more room at our regular, easier to access, public campsites for those with two wheel drives.”
The Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory currently maintains 1283km of four wheel drive tracks that are normally available to park visitors and only closes these tracks during adverse seasonal weather conditions like fire management and wet season inundation.
The MOU is valid for three years with the option to extend further.