Public cut off from MacDonnell national parks

 

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The West and East MacDonnell national parks (blue arrows above) have been declared designated biosecurity areas which means they are in effect cut off from visitors because they would have to go into a quarantine lock-up for 14 days to enter them.

 

This means the favourite playgrounds for Alice Springs locals during the iconic cool months of the year are off limits for them.

 

We have asked SecureNT and the Health Minister Natasha Fyles for the reason of this decision and will report the answer if and when we receive it.

 

Meanwhile SecureNT says the Ross Facility adjacent to the Central Australia Aboriginal Alcohol Programmes Unit (CAAAPU) on the Ross Highway is “a secure facility which operates separate to existing services in the area [and] has been set up to assist with the isolation of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19, in two phases.

 

“Phase one will provide secure accommodation for suspected cases of COVID-19 who have been tested and do not have the ability to self-isolate at home, or the means to pay for commercial accommodation while they await their results.

 

“Phase two of the facility will provide isolation and medical care to those who test positive to COVID-19 and do not have acute symptoms that require hospitalisation.

 

“The 20 bed facility will provide 24/7 nursing care to patients, and in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, will be closed to the general public meaning visitors will not be allowed.”

 

 

UPDATE April 9, 1.15pm

South Australian parks are open for locals to visit.

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation in Australia is constantly changing. For those who are not required to self-isolate, our parks and open spaces provide opportunities to stay active and healthy, while social distancing. 

Stick to parks near you, stay up to date with government guidelines about social distancing and movement restrictions and use common sense about who you visit with. 

 

 

UPDATE April 10 at 11am

Some areas in the East MacDonnells near Ross River are open.

 

 

UPDATE April 12 at 11am

Simpsons Gap national park is open and can be reached from the Larapinta Road. The checkpoint on that road is west of the Simpsons Gap turn-off.

 

 

 

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9 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Greg Latency
    Posted April 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    I wonder how the people at Undoolya and Bond Springs are faring … the green and orange shaded areas vs the red lines are somewhat ambiguous …
    Direction 19 emerged last night at 1745 local.

    View Comment
  2. Andy
    Posted April 9, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    It’s happening everywhere across Australia, nothing new, people need to accept it. Stay home and it will eventually reopen.

    View Comment
  3. Watchn
    Posted April 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Nah. She’ll be right.

    View Comment
  4. Gbc
    Posted April 7, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    And this is only the start of more pain to come.
    I do not see any sunset clauses on any of these rules, regulations and legislation (both local, Territory and Federal) so possibly could go on for years.
    The fan is going to be hit in a big way in about six months’ time with unemployment, businesses falling over, no money to live and pay accounts due.
    Hate to be a pessimist but the future does not look good in any way it is looked at.
    Our great grand kids will still be paying of the debt now being accrued by governments.
    Have a great day everyone … and the flies are still around.

    View Comment
  5. Michael
    Posted April 7, 2020 at 11:29 am

    It’s difficult adjusting to the fact that we humans around the world are suddenly in the midst of a major threat!
    As we await the testing and manufacture of millions of vaccines over the next two years or so, I am sure we will get much better at distancing protocols.
    Unfortunately, it’s the best we can do right now, to reduce the respiratory virus transmission from other people’s lungs to ours through surfaces, hands and faces.
    And we are more fortunate here, than many others elsewhere.

    View Comment
  6. Surprised!
    Posted April 7, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Wait till you see what comes next. Furthermore when you go to the Secure NT Website the map quality is very poor.
    Perhaps there’s a message in that.

    View Comment
  7. Karen
    Posted April 6, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    By looking at the map and hearing a comment from someone I know today it looks like Ross River homestead will have to shut their doors. This decision looks like it is destroying a business so what gives the Health Minster the right to do such a terrible thing. Please follow this up, Erwin.
    [I will. Erwin.]

    View Comment
  8. Loc
    Posted April 6, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    This is not going to end well. If you look people up in their own town people will start to go crazy here. We will see rise if violence and abuse.

    View Comment
  9. Psuedo Guru
    Posted April 6, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    That`s like stopping Brisbane folk from going to The Sunshine and Gold Coasts?

    View Comment

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