‘No decision has been made’ on future of Wollumbin track
A decision on the future of the Wollumbin summit track is yet to be made, according to a Tweed Shire councillor.
Cr James Owen said he had spoken to the office of Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean and was told no decision had been cemented.
This is despite lobby group Right to Climb releasing documents obtained through Freedom of Information which indicate plans for the track to be permanently closed from November 25, 2022.
The mountain, also known as Mount Warning, was closed in March last year because of rising concerns about the pandemic, and has not reopened since.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service confirmed in January it had removed the chain section from the summit, citing safety concerns.
"I've been speaking to the Minister's office," Cr Owen said.
"I've spoken to them this morning.
"No decision has been made about the future of the track.
"I haven't seen those documents, but no decision has been made and further information is going to be provided in May this year."
Cr Owen said National Parks were still expected to provide more information about the track's future in May this year, as previously indicated by the organisation.
He said Tweed Shire Council general manager Troy Green was speaking with National Parks to arrange a briefing with councillors.
"(This is) so we can meet with them to understand where things are at, at the moment," he said.
"The upper reaches of Wollumbin is a declared Aboriginal place so we need to respect that in whatever decision (is made) going forward.
"We need to look at all views.
"A broad cross-section of the community should be consulted.
"We do have to respect that it's a declared Aboriginal place so we need to find a good balance there."
While acknowledging the cultural significance of the mountain and the emotions from all sides involved in debate around the track's future, Cr Owen said a "pragmatic, objective" approach was needed.
"These are emotive subjects," he said.
"People are very passionate about these sorts of things so their views need to be listened to.
"But equally, we need to look at the facts, look at the history and the culture and heritage and all the other factors that go into this.
"It's not an easy thing, that's for sure."
The National Parks and Wildlife Service and Minister Kean's office have been approached for comment.