Protection for people and heritage at Point Richie

DANGEROUS cliff edges at Warrnambool’s picturesque Point Ritchie will be fenced to improve public safety  — and legislative moves are proposed to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage at the site.

Warrnambool City Council received a $100,000 state government grant for improvements including fencing and signage after concerns about visitors at risk from high undercut cliffs and poorly-defined paths.

“Users of the area may not be aware of the risks associated with climbing over existing handrails or over the stone fence,” council environment officer Kate McInnes said. “This infrastructure will also provide added protection for Aboriginal cultural heritage that is significant at this site.

 “Upgraded paths and high-grade stainless steel fences will make more obvious the areas on which it is safe to walk.”

A fence will also be erected along a rocky column known as the west stack. “This column has provided a challenge for rock climbers in the past with few people aware of the imminent danger of climbing on such a structure,” Ms McInnes said. 

 The state government is also working with the council to further protect the site known as the Moyjil Aboriginal place through a protection declaration and has called for public comment.

Aboriginal Affairs Victoria said 1.36 hectare area was under consideration including the rocky headland and west rock stack at the western side of the mouth. Comment closes on May 23.

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