Residents are aware the Latram River Recreational Area was closed prior to Christmas for major earthworks on the road, a new creek crossing and camping sites. Whilst nearing completion, considerable works still needs to be done and Dhimurru thanks residents for their patience during this time. It is envisaged the Latram will be open for the school holidays.
Dhimurru was successful in gaining a grant from the Federal government PM & C through the TC Nathan and Lam Recovery Fund as well as the Northern Territory government through the Department of Transport RIEF fund for the civil works that are being completed by YBE (2) Pty Ltd. Dhimurru and Rio Tinto have contributed to the overall project with materials and Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation, donating quarry rock for the crossing. It has also been a community supported project with assistance from NORFORCE, Datjala Work Camp, Learning on Country students from Yirrkala School and Traditional Owners.
All civil works in this project have been dependant on the weather with due care taken to avoid damage to the fragile river terraces and tracks when wet. YBE have worked, and continue to work, under difficult conditions to get this extremely popular recreational area open. Heavy plant and equipment have operated in the area at every opportunity and due to health and safety obligations to the community, this has necessitated closure for an extended period.
Residents will be impressed with the new layout of the area. The new campsites are child-friendly and crocodile-safe with views of the bush, and bigger car parks that will accommodate camper trailers. The camping areas will have more shade and all river entrances will be open to all visitors to the site. Whereas the river terraces have been without shade protection in the past, the area will have infrastructure in place for protection with vehicle exclusion.
A toilet will be installed at Goanna Lagoon in the near future and this area will need to be closed for public safety while the civil works continue. Due to the popularity of this areas, the Latram will be open during this time. Dhimurru wishes to advise that conditions may change and these areas may need to be closed at short notice whilst construction continues.
It is the vision of the Traditional Owner’s to protect the Indigenous Protected Area for generations to come and the new layout is for long-term management. This will enable the fragile river terrace, flora and fauna to be protected and minimise any long-term bank erosion.
Once again, Dhimurru apologise for the inconvenience of not being able to enjoy this recreational area. We all look forward to the opening of the re-constructed recreational area.