Tourism operators call on NT Government to act to protect Litchfield Park from gamba grass
Tourism operators are calling on the NT Government to tackle gamba grass infestations in Litchfield National Park, citing fire damage and a rapidly-changing landscape as serious threats to their businesses.
Litchfield Tourism Association members issued the call after meeting with the office of Minister for Parks and Rangers, Selena Uibo.
Rob Woods, the owner of Ethical Adventures, said seven years running tours across the Top End had given him a front-row view of significant landscape change.
“Litchfield is one of the Territory’s greatest treasures and our most visited park. More must be done to eliminate gamba from the park before our environment and tourism industry is damaged beyond repair”, Mr Woods said.
“We want to show our guests nature at its best – to do that, we need to protect it.”
Nina Keener, who operates wildlife sanctuary and glamping experience Nina’s Ark, said it was time to get serious about eliminating gamba.
“If we don’t start getting gamba under control, Litchfield Park and surrounding areas will continue to lose their wildlife habitat. We need boots on the ground and for gamba control to be a daily, specialised job. Tackling gamba requires more than a weekend working bee.”
Sue Mornane, whose accommodation business Rum Jungle Bungalows sits alongside crown land infested with gamba, said she fears Litchfield Park will become a gamba-infested wasteland at the current rate.
“Gamba Grass infestation of our natural environment is a tragedy which is having enormous detrimental consequences in the Top End and for all Territorians.
“The unnecessary on-going loss of the natural environment, habitats, and native flora and fauna in gamba-infested areas is also having an enormous financial impact on the Northern Territory. We need all the departments and agencies to work together to eradicate gamba.
“If we don’t combat gamba now and work to reduce dry season fires, I fear we won’t have an environment left for tourists to visit and enjoy.”
Pauline Cass from the Gamba Grass Roots Alliance said many community members had similar concerns.
“Territorians are proud of our natural environment and wildlife but we need to do more to protect our natural values, or our tourism sector will suffer in the future,” Ms Cass said.
“The government needs to ensure long-term funding for solutions which stop gamba spreading across our landscape, before it’s too late.”