Booderee National Park

Monday 6 April 2020

Parks Australia is working with the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council to step up COVID-19 protections at Booderee National Park to protect the health of Elders and vulnerable residents.

Booderee National Park Manager Luke Scott said as COVID-19 restrictions continue to roll-out across the country we need to continue to ensure that strong measures are in place in our park for the safety of staff and community.

“We are responding to the evolving situation and updating our advice to visitors and the community in line with the health guidance provided by government authorities,” Mr Scott said.

“Our very simple message to anyone who is not a resident within the Jervis Bay Territory is, the park is closed. That means no entering the park to fish, surf, launch a boat, camp, bike ride or bushwalk.”

The Jervis Bay Territory recently issued non-essential travel laws similar to those passed in other states and territories, with penalties up to $10,500 for any travel which does not meet strict exemptions. Over 700 people live within the Jervis Bay Territory, predominantly at Wreck Bay Village, Jervis Bay Village and at HMAS Creswell. Residents of the territory are still free to travel to and from the park as long as they abide by the conditions.

Traffic management at the entrance to the park, and regular patrols by park rangers and the Australian Federal Police ensure the park, and the territory, remain closed to those not permitted. Three fines totalling over $2,500 have already been issued to non-residents for not complying with the park closure directions.

Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council Chief Executive Anne-Marie Farrugia said the Executive Board of the Council was requesting that non-residents of Wreck Bay Village do not enter Wreck Bay Village, even if you are a Registered Member of Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.

“This is to protect the health of Elders, and chronically ill and vulnerable residents,” Ms Farrugia said. “It reflects decisions taken in other indigenous communities around the country to keep people safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We understand the impact on families who have members within and outside of the Jervis Bay Territory and this decision has not been taken lightly. However, safety of vulnerable residents must come first.”