Open our park

Open our park

Michelle Litchfield has started a petition to open the Gooralong Park campsite in Jarrahdale. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The picturesque rural surroundings found in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has long thrilled locals and tourists alike, but more than 700 people are unhappy the popular tourist destination, Gooralong Park campsite in Jarrahdale has been closed for a number of years.

Lead by Michelle Litchfield, a petition was started last week and has amassed a number of signatures calling for the reopening of the camp.

Ms Litchfield said the campsite was special to her as it is the place where she met her husband in 2003.

She said over time they have taken their kids there and in recent times were disappointed to find out the camp had been closed.

“It was closed down because the trees were too dangerous,” she said.

“I agree some of them need cutting down but all the place needs is maintenance

and it can be re-opened to the public.”

Ms Litchfield said it was a shame the campsite has been closed down, as it was a fun day event for families.

“The temporary closure has now been in force in nearly a decade,” she said.

“It’s time to re-open this national treasure.”

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale said it did not manage Gooralong Park as it was managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Ms Litchfield said a spokesman from the department contacted her and suggested she get involved in a planning process proposed by the shire to identify tourism, recreational and other opportunities within the area, rather than looking to the past.

He said the land remained with the Water Corporation and continued to present visitor safety issues with a softwood plantation and other hazards being located on the campground.

He also said there were several where pine trees had fallen over tents and to

mitigate the risk, a decision was made to close the facilities until the standing pine trees were removed, the area rehabilitated back to native forest, and any further development of facilities could be assessed strategically through the preparation of a Recreation Master Plan for Serpentine National Park, once the land was transferred.