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Partnership to help preserve mountain huts


Northern region volunteer group the Mountain Huts Preservation Society has just signed a five-year partnership agreement with the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Northern Region manager Chris Colley praised the group for their willingness to negotiate the long-term agreement.

"The Parks and Wildlife Service is committed to working with the Mountain Huts Preservation Society to achieve a positive outcome in maintaining the historical and cultural value of the huts of the Central Plateau," Mr Colley said.

"Volunteering is an essential component of our core business and we are committed to the on-going support of these programs.

"It's great to see that on going relationship with the huts being maintained," Mr Colley said.

Roger Nutting, chairperson of the Mountain Huts Preservation Society, said the group is very pleased to now have a long-term agreement in place with the PWS.

"What this offers us is a fair degree of stability. It gives us something to look forward to and maps out our agenda, hand-in-hand with the Parks and Wildlife Service, which is the way it has to be," Mr Nutting said.

Under the new agreement the society will work with PWS to undertake a range of works relating to the planning, interpretation, preservation and restoration of 10 heritage hut sites within the Central Highlands area.

The proposed works include an archaeological dig and artefact collection at Ritter's Hut, as well as the re-shingling and re-cladding of a number of the outbuildings at the Steppes Homestead.

The group's current projects include rebuilding, using traditional construction techniques, two timber bridges on Warner's Track. This project is is nearing completion after more than 10 months' work.

Warner's Track was the principal stock route and north-south track through the Central Plateau, prior to construction of the current highway.

The group has also recently commenced restoration works on the Basil Steers No 1 Hut which involves rebuilding this hut to its original design using much of the original materials still present on site.