Some 4WD enthusiasts come to the Flinders because of Skytrek. Our Flinders community benefits when these visitors extend their stay. Skytrek is an integral part of tourism in our region.
Have you heard that there is a strong probability that Carmel and Brendan Reynolds of Willow Springs will be locked out from a key section of Skytrek?
Carmel and Brendan say that they are being asked to pay an outlandish fee to provide access to that section of the track which crosses land now owned by the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby Preservation Association, an organisation founded some years ago by the Sporting Shooters Association.
Willow Springs has funded the development, maintenance, marketing and support of Skytrek. The Wallaby Association has simply increased the lease charge each time the contract has expired. This year, say Carmel and Brendan, their demands are so unreasonable that the Reynolds are faced with the prospect of ending Skytrek as visitors have come to know and enjoy it.
Because the land across which the leased section of Skytrek passes was purchased with the assistance of a government grant we believe that government should be interested to know how the use of that money is likely to affect tourism in the Flinders Ranges.
The Reynolds are not seeking free use of the land but they believe that any charge must be fair and withstand any test of commercial relevance.
If you want to help keep Skytrek open, please consider writing to your Member of Parliament or any of the Government Ministers and Shadow Ministers.
All information is below but can also be obtained from http://www.skytrekwillowsprings.com.au/index.htm
SAMPLE LETTER TO HELP KEEP SKYTREK OPEN
Potential Lockout of Skytrek
The Flinders Ranges is a tourist icon in South Australia which offers a wide range of experiences that appeal to Australian and international visitors. Among these experiences are four wheel drive tracks that serve not only to take visitors into remote areas of the ranges, they also provide a controlled outlet for four wheel drive enthusiasts seeking to include a challenge in their holiday.
Skytrek on Willow Springs Station 16 kms north of Wilpena was among the first station tracks in the Flinders Ranges to be opened to tourists. Over the past decade its popularity has continued to increase due to the strong marketing efforts of the Reynolds family. The Reynolds met all the costs of track development and maintenance as well as the associated costs of running it as part of their family business.
A decade ago the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby Preservation Association formed by the Sporting Shooters Association obtained a Federal Government Grant to purchase land from Willow Springs Station. As part of the Association’s commitment to the Federal Government they have to allow public access into this proportion of land purchased from the Reynolds Family. It was to become known as the Bunkers Conservation Park for the preservation of the existing yellow foot rock wallaby colonies. A gentlemen’s’ agreement provided a lease back that allowed ongoing Skytrek track access through the new reserve.
Having seen the lease payment increase dramatically since the original agreement the situation has now reached a stage where the Reynolds family are not prepared to pay the extravagant fee requested by the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby Protection Association. On top of track maintenance, insurance, marketing and associated costs the family see the leasing cost forcing them to charge tourists an unacceptable price to drive the track. The outcome will be the lock out from the Association’s section of Skytrek. Surely nobody wins if this happens. The Association loses money, the Reynolds family loses income and tourists to the Flinders Ranges lose this existing access to a beautiful part of South Australia.
State tourism should not suffer because negotiations between two parties have reached an impasse. Because of the tourism impact and the fact that taxpayer money is involved Government has an interest in helping find a solution
The impasse is about how much one party should charge the other. I am asking the SA Government to appoint a suitably qualified person to examine the financial records of both parties and to consider other relevant factors before making a determination that is just and fair to both parties so that the entire track remains open.
Skytrek is a State icon that must be preserved for the enjoyment of all visitors to the Flinders Ranges.
Relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers
Please choose those to whom you wish to write.
The address for each politician listed is; Parliament House North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000Hon. J. W. Weatherill Premier Parliament House North Terrace ADELAIDE SA 5000 Hon. J.R. Rau Minister for Business Services and Consumers
Hon. G.E. Gago Minister for Tourism
Hon. P. Caica Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
Hon. A. Koutsantonis Minister for Small Business
Hon. T. R. Kenyon Minister for Recreation and Sport
Ms I. Redmond MP Leader of the Opposition
Hon. D. Ridgway MLC Shadow Minister for Tourism
Mr S. Marshall MP Shadow Minister for Small Business Shadow Minister for Environment & Conservation
Hon. R. Lucas Shadow Minister for Federal/State Relations