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Wineglass Bay track upgrade complete


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Progress on Frenchmans Cap Track upgrade


A big summer of track work on the Frenchmans Cap Track has seen extensive track clearing, steps installed, new duckboard and double-planking, along with maintenance to bridges and Vera Hut. Track work also took a big leap forward with a mini-excavator proving its worth.

The Frenchmans Cap Track is in the process of being upgraded thanks to the generosity of Australian businessman, Dick Smith. In 2008 Mr Smith, a frequent visitor to Tasmania, walked the track and as a result decided he would like to contribute to a track upgrade.

He has committed $100,000 per year for 10 years to the WILDCARE Gift Fund for this purpose.  In turn, the Tasmanian Government has committed to contributing $50,000 each year for the same period. The WILDCARE Gift Fund recently received Mr Smith’s third cheque for $100,000.

Last year, the Frenchmans Cap Walking Track Management Plan was produced to provide strategic direction for the track’s upgrade over the next 10 years. The major recommendations of the plan include: completing stabilisation of the highland sections of the existing track (including the Irenabyss track) and construction of new track in a re-route of the southern section of the notoriously muddy Loddon Plains. While environmental approvals for the re-route are finalised, much needed maintenance was completed during the 2009/10 season.

Queenstown senior ranger Sandra Beams said the works concentrated on the first section of track from the Franklin River crossing to north Loddon Plains. Extensive brushcutting and vegetation pruning was completed along four kilometres of track. Drains were cleared, water bars and steps installed and hundreds of metres of duckboard and double planking constructed. Maintenance works were also completed at the Loddon River footbridge.

“The work over the last two seasons has cleared the backlog of maintenance required on the track. It’s been greatly improved and has given us a solid platform for the seasons to come,” Sandra said.

“In addition we trialled a mini-excavator, which presented some challenges in the early days. However, once techniques were developed, the excavator drivers were able to progress work very quickly. As a result we’ve decided to purchase one for this track and future track work in the region.”

Sandra said the mini-excavator not only proved to be efficient, but will have additional benefits in reducing the risk of injuries to track workers.

 This story can be found in the winter edition of the Buttongrass newsletter here

Progress on Frenchmans Cap Track upgrade

A new mini-excavator proved its worth on track work on the Frenchmans Cap Track.