The walking tracks along the Illawarra escarpment attract thousands of visitors every year.
When tourists or locals set off on their bushwalk they are met with beautiful nature and wildlife but walkways, signage and stairways are falling into disrepair.
That’s what Keira MP Ryan Park believes and he wants it to change.
Mr Park launched a campaign aiming to secure funding for the improvement of local walking tracks with Labor candidate for Heathcote Maryanne Stuart at Wodi Wodi Trackhead on Tuesday.
“In Coalcliff at the entrance to the stunning Forest Walk, you don’t have to look far to see the impact of years of neglect by this state government towards our national parks,” he said.
“This government has pledged millions of dollars to upgrade walking tracks in national parks in Sydney including the Royal National Park, Port Stephens, Tweed-Byron, on the Macleay Valley Coast and the South Coast.
“We want our fair share in the Illawarra.”
Mr Park wants to see trails receive upgraded signage, resurfacing, maintenance of vegetation and become accessible for all walkers so the tracks continue to draw tourists into the region.
“The signage, which has fallen into disrepair, is not a good look, especially when we are trying to attract people to the area,” he said.
Labor is asking for up to $5 million to upgrade the trails.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh welcomed the push to upgrade walking tracks.
“Walking trails are available to everyone because they are free and people should get out and enjoy the wonderful escarpment,” he said.
“People should get off iPads and into nature.”
Mr Sleigh said he would like to see signage replaced because it was important for tourists to know where to go when they arrived at the trail.
He said he would welcome additional funding for the National Parks and Wildlife Service so employees had more resources to maintain the tracks.
Mr Park wants residents to sign a petition. For details contact his office: 4285 1588.