SJF Hut Restoration Success by Working Together
The hut at Sir John Falls had been in a dangerous unusable condition for far too long considering there is a no other safe refuge for 30 kilometres of the Gordon River. The Friends of Macquarie Harbour had made it a high priority to not only make it a safe refuge but to enhance its basic facilities to attract visitors to this extraordinary portion of wilderness. Friends of Macquarie Harbour member Trevor Norton, a heritage architect, drew up plans utilizing the existing structure and our committee located private funds to complete the work.
The final package was submitted to PWS management on the 5 September 2019. After further discussions, GM Jason Jacobi replied on 2 October 2019, “I have discussed your concerns about the condition of the hut with relevant staff, and confirm that we will be allocating funding to address maintenance issues this financial year. The works will include replacing the stumps and floorboards, straightening the walls and replacing iron on the rear wall, strengthening the roof structure and installing skylights, repairing or replacing windows and doors, repairing/replacing the hut lining, and installing a new water tank.”
This work is nearly complete and while the hut remains basic in the extreme, it is sound and ready for use. The Friends of Macquarie Harbour and Waterways would like to thank Jason Jacobi and the PWS for making funds available and congratulate all parties on a job well done.
Supportive of our plan ~
Mr Jason Jacobi, further stated in his October 2019 letter:
“Your proposal would undoubtedly result in a more comfortable hut, and an experience that is very likely to attract additional visitors to the site. As a concept, I am supportive of it. As such, I believe the appropriate context in which to consider such a new hut is the Lower Gordon Recreation Zone Plan.”
The Friends of Macquarie Harbour and Waterways is pursuing this approach.
In Conclusion ~
There are many Australians keen to visit this remote area pivotal to protecting the SouthWest. Within view of this hut, the blockade by hundreds stopped the Gordon below Franklin Dam. These people are now elderly, many have grandchildren. They require and deserve commodious accommodation with informative pictorial placards overlooking those difficult, historic days.