A parking meter situated close to the toilets at Burragorang Lookout is easy to miss if you are not looking for it; but it hasn’t escaped the notice or annoyance of locals who say it doesn’t belong in the area at all.
The machine was installed in June. It’s not the first time a visitor’s fee has been applied to the lookout – it has been in force since 2000, but in 2011 “ the fee collection infrastructure was temporarily removed as intermittent digital reception was unable to reliably support credit card payments” a spokesperson for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said.
The NPWS defended the fee highlighting it was in line with many national parks and especially since the site has been upgraded with a “new shelter” and increases accessibility along with the ongoing maintenance of”… toilet, barbecue and picnic facilities as well as the lookout platform”.
Many locals, some who are relations of the people who used to live in the valley before it was flooded, said the fee is contrary to what was promised.
Trish Hill from Wollondilly Heritage Centre and Museum said the lookout is for everyone and should be freely accessible.
“We have reunions here for families of the Burragorang Valley, whose properties were flooded.”
She said these families shouldn’t have to pay to look at the view and water which now covers their former properties.
Ms Hill the local community and tourists should be allowed to visit the area without incurring a charge.