Southern Caver

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Southern Caver

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Title:
Southern Caver
Series Title:
Southern Caver
Creator:
Gregory Middleton ozspeleo@iinet.net.au ( suggested by )
Southern Caving Society
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Applied Speleology ( local )
Regional Speleology ( local )
Resource Management ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
Location:
Australia

Notes

General Note:
The Southern Caving Society was formed in April 1965 and in July 1967 commenced publication of "Southern Caver" as its quarterly newsletter. At the time of the 1996 amalgamation of SCS with the Tasmanian Caverneering Club, it was agreed that Southern Tasmanian Caverneers would continue to publish "Southern Caver" in the form of an occasional paper as and when suitable material was available. The publication has in fact appeared approximately annually in recent years and has generally carried reprints of otherwise difficult to obtain reports relating to caves in Tasmania.
Restriction:
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 7, no. 2 (1975)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-03752 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3752 ( USFLDC Handle )
21380 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0157-8464 ( ISSN )

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Description
The Southern Caving Society was formed in April 1965 and
in July 1967 commenced publication of "Southern Caver" as its
quarterly newsletter. At the time of the 1996 amalgamation of
SCS with the Tasmanian Caverneering Club, it was agreed that
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers would continue to publish
"Southern Caver" in the form of an occasional paper as and
when suitable material was available. The publication has in
fact appeared approximately annually in recent years and has
generally carried reprints of otherwise difficult to obtain
reports relating to caves in Tasmania.



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ffSOUTHERN CAVERnPublishedQuarterlybytheSouthernCaVingSociety.PostalAddress:P.G.Box121 fuoonnh,Tasmania 7009. CI'ub Room:132Daveyst.,Hobart.EDITORS: Dnve ElliottandRan Mann Steve,Ha,rris,Kevin Kiern2JI, MichaelOole,GraemeWattCOVERS:BycourtesyofGraemeWattCONTENTS:OCTOBER, 1975TIrECASE' FORPRECIPITOUS BLUFF By K QuarryingVs.NationalPark . Page2TheLegalBattles.",,..,,.', 8Location,andAc:,cess. ,', ,.,,.,.'.,' 13Geography,.Topogr'a,phy,Climate ". ,, \'and' Vegetntion. , ..Page1 3 The Society's E,xpeditian .. , .17CaveList.......'...'. ......, ...' .p?-ge 19 .. 'Spele'ologicalConclusions.....Page23 Conserva,t.ionConclusions..Page27

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SOUTH-WESTTASMANIA '-----GJMNrea Miles I ..+('es I : 100,000lullBAYPR/ONWESTciitou2Fig. -,/,,--' -':::-

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Subsequent.lytheLakePedderdisputeflared usa resultofplansbythe Commissiontoinundatethe Lnke Pedderparkaspartofthe kiddle Gardan (Gardon powerdevelopment.The broughtaboutbytheLakePedderplansresultedintllesetting up, onJune14t'11,1967ofaoelcctcommitteeoftIleTasmanianLegislativeCouncil (uPPGr house) after the relevant billshad passedtheHouseof Assembly, inresponseto a callbythe sue. Itisunfortunate that ofthefifteenrecommendations made bythe tteeonlytwo,thefloodi11gofPedder and settingupofanew ptlrks authoritywerefully qomplied with,whileanother,theestablishmentofasouth-west park, wasonlypartially A thirdoftheareaof the newparkwas baing obliteratedbythe new Hydro-Electricimpoundment.Thenow Parksand 11ildlife ServioewasestablishedbyAot 'ofParliamentin1970,amalgamatingthefunctionsofthepreviousSceneryPreservationBoard and Animals andBirdsProtectionBoard.Concurrently,theSouth-westDistrict,including the PrecipitousBluffareaand New River Lae;;oon b.ecan1e a Conservation Area underthesecondscheduleoftheActoInDecembor? 1968' anewSouth-WestNationalPark1185hectares,lessthanhalfthe area recom.nendedby the Select wasestablishedThePrecipitous Bluff areawasnotincluded,despite its' havingbeeninoludedinthe area recommended. Theeasternborderoftheparkbeing New River, New River Lagoon andPrionBeach.It a;)pears thatsubsequ.entlyatleastonecompanyB.HoP.Ltd.t.undertooksomeprospectinginthearea,revealingthelimestonetoboofahighpurityinatleast'onesection.Theytookthematternofurther. Achanee ofgovernmentoccurred after theapprovaloftheGordonRiverHydro-Electricproposal.ThepreviousLabourregimeunderMr. ROGce was aLiberal-CentrePartycoalition,headedbyMr. Angus 13ethune. l1hile tha new Premierremainedasdeterminedas Mr. Reecetodefeatthe' conservationistpressuresoverLakePedder t Liberal electi,on promis'eshadincludeda nel'" dealforconservation,andsounderthisGovernment steps weretakentoincludetheP.B.areawithintheSouth"!est :National' Park. Follo1rJing asuggestionbythe AustralianMining IndustriesCouncilthatminingshouldbe allowedinreserves, Bethune said thiswas"whollyunacceptable."HesaidtheGovernmentanticipatedthewholesouth-westwouldsoonbo anationalparkandinthemeantime would not grantanyexplorationlicencein,thearea.(Mercury23/3/72 -page1)OCTOBER1 975

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Late ill1971theprosent:threattoPrecipitousBlu.ffandtheshoresof 1'Jetv .River Lagoo:l first emerg_f?d. A bournebasedprospectirlgcompa11Y, I\1inoral HoldinG's(Austraiia).,ptJT 0 Ltdo a'ppliedforaspecialexploratioltlicGl1Ceinrespectof aroWld ..baseofthemountaill fo11otving a r8port"dated Novernber 20th,. 1971by Nrro T.DoHughes,formerchiefgeologistforthe Tasmru1ian Departmentof thenoperatingasaprivateconsultant.The,..reportindicated ofhighgrade lim8stone althoughexploratiqnwasconfinedtoa Acces S 1rJaS byl1clicopt er. However,it the placedtheirdatumpegdefi11ingthelicence onthesandspit forming thewestern bank oftheelongatemouthof New RiverLagoonatPrionBeachoThisthen,wasjustinsidetheboundaryoftheSouthWestpark,asa'consequenceofwhichtheapplication was disallowedatanadministrativeleveloSubsequentlyasecondpeg placedby 1tineral Holdingsandtheapplicationre-advertised.Objectionswerelodgedbya numberofindividualsandbodiesincllldillgtheAustralianConservationFOUl1dation,the Tasnnnian ConservationTrust, SdC, HobartWalkingClub,Launceston Field NaturalistsClub,SocietyforGrowingAustralianPlantsand R.Wyatt.Also among theobjectors was PeterMurrell,DirectoroftheTasmanianNationalParksand ttJildlife ServiceoAsudde11 State electioninApril,1972resulted ir.!.Mr. Reece'8Labour beingreturnedtopower. As farasthesouthcoast concerned, and consorvationingeneral,thenewGovernmentappearedobviouslyopposedandofficial action' onthe enlarged south-westparkproposalceased. As aresult,thenewGovernmentinstructedNational Parks and wildlife Service Po Wurrel1, withdrawtheobjectiontothePrecipitousBluffminingproposal loclgedundEin;:".the previousadministration.. THE BATTLES-DEVONPORT TIle decisionof the:"Jniningl'\1ardenfollottling thehearingof thwas leasenotbegrantedtothe cornpany. '..., .','.'After ofthehearing,the 6bJectorstri'e'd to' thecase abandoneq..on thegroundsthat. IvlilleralHoldings' hadnotplaced' ;a"datumpeg outthelease,' area asdemandedby 'Actregu.lation 4e:. The :Warden f'ai.ledto agroo withthiscontention.Subsequently ralHoldingsclaimedtheobjectors.had norighttoobjectastheydid110thavealegalinterestinthearea.Connselfortheobjectorsarguedthatthemainte!lanCeofthetrackandprovisionofboatsattheNewRivercrossingbythePublic Works Departmentconstitutedineffectthegrantingofalicencetobushwalkerstousethem.As.alicencelegally aninterest \ialkers hadaninterestinthearea,which lu virtuoofitsbeing'availabletoa:nyone constitlfud apublicinterest.The wardenagreedwiththis.SOUTHERNCAVER(8),OCTOBER1 975

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Inevidenceduring the subsequenthearing.conscrvat10nistsclaimedthatexploratoryactivitywoulddisrupttheaestheticandscienti.fic "valuGs ofthe area, .inparticularincreasetheriskoffire.',;;'BeyonddcfC11ceof tIle actionsin raarlcing outthelease hardlypresentoda EcologicalconsiderationspassedunchallengodoTheironlyassertionwasthattheyhadnoplanstodevelopPoBo 9'mQroly aridgesaidtobea hilloThisclaim 1J'Jas subseq-uentlY,repeatedonseveraloccasionso In,.handing dOvJnhis findingtho vJarden, J0Templc-Smith, thatthe:'.vB.,lue ofthe. area initspresentUpristineand primevalttcondi ti()n., .'.'faroutvJGighcd the.nebulousbenefits 1tJhich couldbeexpected ." .,! Subsequont tothe ,Davonport MineralHoldingsenteredintodaylongdiscussionswith the Departmentof FollowingprossstatementsbythePremiorto..:theeffoctthatthe cO;'t1pany mayappealagainst ,:-,the t was announcedthatanappealhadbeenlodgedby ... Holdings tal
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THE SUPREtWi COURTAPPEAL.. .. .. --.'.'.At brief counsel'for partiesmet. Holdingsannouncod that itwQuld:sooktheintroductionofnowevidenco.'Tho objectors statod they would suchastep.'Inthemeantimethoypropa,redthomsolvesshouldtll0iroppositionfail.. .'This: .al)poalx'IJ'as. then unexpoctodly andanapplicat.ion made inchambersto.tho IJastOI'.of""SupromQ .Court'foradoclarationagainstt.heclecisionofthemining t'Jarden. This"applicationfailed.Subsoquontlytheappeal proper totheSupromeCourttook placoe Inhis .. ha11doddownon8th 1973, 1-1r. Justice:Nottlofold reversed .. the ISdecision,and foundthat tho objectors vvore not competont to :o.bjocto Su'bscquently a numborofintorestingOVG11tStranspired.ThroughtheofficosofthethenfoderalConservation Ltinistor Dr0 r.ioss Cass,UrbanandRegional l1.ffairs1unist erTom Uren andthe then AttorneyGeneralLional the.AustralianGovernmentundertooktoprovidefinancialaidto enable a furtherappeal byconservationists.The assistance extended to the, paymentofasignificantportionofconservationistscostsfortheinitialappoal,plusanundertakingto.verysubstantiallyaid.themto meet thocostofanappealtothefullbenchof.theSupremeCourtandif nGcessary totheHighCourt.Thisprecipitatedaheadonverbalcollision at thesubsequentPremiers'Conferencewhenthe Tasmro1ian Premier Reececastigated the Prime who'ina news rolease announcingtheestablishmentofaCommitteetoinvestigatethe EstatehadclaimedPrecipitousBlufftobeanaturalfeatureofnationalsignificance.In hisangry retort Reece'complainedboththatheshould l1ave : .. been"inf9rmed ofthe ..t,o.provi.definancialaid,andthatif .int,erestscons'idered Tasmania's wildernesss110uldbecon'servedfrt"the.nationalinterestthen AustralianGovernmentshouldcomponsate aclain1antstate,forthedevelopmentit \vas forcedto.fo'rego 'tJ '' Reece was ago ..inprorninentint.hedisput.eatthis time; .whenit.wasrevGaledthat IVIineral Holdings'al)pli'catiol1fora',special.prospectorslicencehadlapsedsix mOl1ths previously,since,..whidh:timeaHobartPartne.rs11ip, M3.trixFJIining,1l:ad stakedaclaimt.Omuchthesamearea.Althoughthe Mineral Holdingsapplicationhad'ceased'to exist; sixmonthsafterithadlapsecl,andinthefaceof'a 'cdnflicting" .claim,.... Mr. Reeceextendedthenew110n-existantapplication,addingtothe general, feelingofpublicdisquietabouttheissue,sinceone'of,the'directorsof Holdingshadbeenpreviouslyfoundtobeaformerseniorofficialofthe runes Department in Launceston,andthegeologistwhostakedtheclaimandthegeologistwhohelddiscussionswiththeMinesDepartment,subsequenttowhichtheinitialappealwaslodged,werebothformerchiefgeologistsforthatdepartment.SOUTHERNCAVER(10)OCTOBER1 975

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Inlate Tunc? 1973apublic meetingNas conductodat Hobart TONn Hall.InvitationstospeakwereextendedtoTasmanian PremierRecc.,the irlchargeofI'Tational .. arks, .Costello,the oftho very pro-mining EspGranco MunicipalCouncil,Matrix and l\iinc1'a1FToldirlgs7 inadditiontoconservation intcrostso initialacceptancetheTasmanianGovorntnentadvisedthatit Nould notprovidea spGalcGrt le 1\iin0ral Holdings and.the Ispcrancc CO\IDci 1bothpulledoutat last minuteonthe thatthemattermay be subjudice ,despite Hobart adviceto the contrary.Fromaperusaloftheirpreviousprossstatementsconservationistsconstructed and presented astatoment ofattitudofor tl10SC parties.The speakersspokeofthevalueofwildornessandthenonsensicaleconomicsof the scheme t notingalso the totaldissociationfronl Holdings,.anddisinterestintheProcipitousBlufflimestonevoicedbybothBoHoP.andArmco,bothof which companioshad been claimedbyMineralHoldingstobeil1terestedinsecuring tho titlcoThis \'Jas thosolepremise whicIl economicallyjustifiedthelittlecompanyofMineralHoldingstryingtoprospectth6'areao-;Porhapsthe most evidence was expressedbyapartl1erof Wratrix .\iTining who hadsentaconsultinggeologisttothearea. IIoreportod thattoconsidermininglimestoneinthe arGa1rJas utterlypreposterousandwouldprovidelimestoneatnearlytwicethecost. aD ofa similar gradeoould be fromJapan.HefurthernotedtherecentprovingofaccessibledepositsofhighgradelimestoneinSouthAustralia.In a decision hunded on the26th1975p theFullBenchconsistingofJusticesGreen, Chambersdismissedthe conservutionist9s appealbyaunanimousruling. ThJro JusticeGreenS Qid that a1 tllOUg'h;,0 0 ()refere11ce h.as been[{ladetovarious ,zrou:Js suc11astheTaSlTIa11ianCOi1servationTrustal1d_theSoutll l:Jest Comfni ttee, tl..ese or{;anisationshave no sta.,11dill{; intIlis Theobjectors(andthe Qilellants) arethefourpersonswhosignedthenoticesofobjection and t11ey are thepersons mustdenl0nstratethattl._eyarepossessedoftherequisiteestateorint ".,rest 0 Hecorlsideredt11attheobjectors we:ce notpossessedofallestateoriIlterest() lVfro JU.stice l\Teasey alsosaidthat :fo0 0testateorinterest'are Tt'Vords tlsedinatec'11ic1 ""ense, al1dthatalice11cetousethelandintIle v/ays wIlicl1t he objectors claimed t11eyweree11titIedtodoesnotCOllstitutean v interest '7i 0SOUTHERNCAVER11)OCTOBER 1-975

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It 1tJ0uldappear thattIledefi11itionof iiestate'? and tiinterestit coversonlythosewhohave aproprietaryinterestintheareaindisputeandthepublic 0,1tll0Ur;11CrovJn landmaybeinvol vedw have 110rig.Llt of Counselforthe aJ0ellants theobjectorshadan estate orillter'estinthe are.:), by offisheryornavigationinadjacentwatersorwaterscoveringpartofthesubjectland. IVT,J-o JusticeGreenllowever'said ,.71Th.isW'lS n.ot madeinthe wardens courtor to'I\Jett lefold'J 0' norl1asitsfactualbasis been established,,andI donot tllil1k opentoustoC011sideritinthiscourt. a Onthesan1esul)j-ct Justice l'-Teasey 110ted i1Fascinating asitmight :have bee11to eJcamine thisingeniolls SUblTlission,lladany evidentiarybasisbeenlaidforitinthe hearing beforethe warden. Idnotin any eventfi11ditnecessarytodosobecausein. llW Opillion ouch publicrightsiftheyexistin'fasma11iaatall,arenot "vi tllil1the purviel,rJ of"Sl5C(3 )-,10 TheNationalParksandWildlifeServicereleaseditsdraftmanag'on1e11tplanfor t.be South F'ark on27tll 1915onedayaftertheFull Ben.cll decisionwas11a11ded down,. Precipitous'Blu.ffisii1cluded'intherecoinll1endedboundaries and t11epla11isopenforpublic cO:llmerit fora six month ;Jeriodo The ofthe Panhas, ineffect 7prC\TGnted. thepossiblerni11ingoftheBluffareaforatleastsixm011thsuntiladecisiononfirlaloUl1dariesofthe South!.lestI'arl< isrnadeoThereisstilla c11al1.cetllatFrecipi tousBluff lrJill beincludedo SOUTHEID CAVER(12)OCTOBER 1975

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'",''' LOCATION' rn .. .. PrecipitousBluffissi tua,t'ed on:the, shoreofNewRivorLagoon Clnatural, brackish,15 kmolong:.impqU!ldment behindsand dunes anda larg'e spit lalol'l1nas Prion ch ,. at. theexactcentreofthesouth coaot of Thespecificareaunderdiscussioniscentred 14635'andlatitude'4331" .''." walking traok ex:tends' tothe mouth. of New River ;La,goon fromCockl'e ,Creek (35kmo.)to theeast.' Normal time is, days,.:11though the return tri'p:has beendone' 'in,thattime.Thetrack"whichservicesthecoastalareas,passesalongPrionBeach.en,route to 'Port llivey and: ScottS'Peak and,isnai11tained at GovernmentcostbythePublicWorksDepartmentwhich proviges rowboatsatthe ofNew:River Lagoontofacilitate crossing of:theriverandaccessto'PrecipitousBluffsomeeightmilestothenorth., A: track,commences at thelimestone,quarriesat Riverandpassestllroug'h -alpine oountry-in thervfto LaPerouseand :Wit.Wyllyarea thencetothesummitofPrecipitousBluffo A markedroutecom1ectsthistrack t:o"the, shore RiverLagoonatthemouthof Damper CreekoThis route.normally daystotraverseo r,The ar'ea maY ..bo''visitedbyboatbutdueto' wateritisnot usually possiblefor'sizeableboatsto thechannelofNewRiveratthelagoonmouthoLightaircraftdonot land "onPrionBeac.h,althoughlightampllibianaircrafthavebeenusedforaccesstothelagoonareaitself.Prion Beach isaheavilyutilisedairdropsiteo di thintheareatherearea numberofsecondaryroutes,i11 eluding oneontoPrecipitousBlufffromLimestoneCreek.Afurtherroutecrossosabutton-grassplaintoalimestoneridge3km.southofthe Thisisapotentialrouteontothemountain.GEOLOGYAND CLIr1\TE VEGETATIONThe dominantfeatureoftheareaisPrecipitousBluffitselfwhichrisesboldlyfromthelagoonshoreattaininganelevationof1219m. lessthan204km.ThemountainfeaturesthreedistinctchangesofsloperelativetotransitionofrocktypesoThebasalrocksexposedareordovicianquartzites, overlaiil bytheGardon Lirneotone inwhichthecavesaredeveloped.Thelimestoneisofsynclinaloccurrence,striking ap9roximately north-south,andonlyverygentlydinpingoItisunconformablyoverlain at anelevationofaround300 mobyPermiansediments,atwhichpointthemountainslopechangesfromapproximately30degreestoapproximately45degrees.Itisdifficulttoaccuratelyascertainthelocationofthe duetoathickhumusdevelopment.Theupper300m.consistsSOUTHERNCAVEROCTOBER197.5

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ofverticalcliffsofJurassicDoleriteoAnunusualfeatureisthelackoftalusdepositsatthefootoftilese,wherethevegetation.continuesrighttothefootoftheverticalrockoA narrowbelt.ofsedimentupto005km. wideeposited bytheNewRi,ver,boundsthewestern flank ofthe.Bluffo To: thesouth.thelimestone is ofsubduedreliefand.. . obscuredby,.sanddeposits towardsthe coast.TheextentofthelimestoneoutcropisdifficulttoascertainoItappearstoextendnorth-wardsalongthe slopes.oftheBluff,and berelate'dtosimilardeposits32 kmot'o 'the110rthofthe of !',lount, Bobs, which': formsthedividebetweentheCracroftandNew Itis notb10wn ifthelimestoneoutcropson thewestern side of NewRiver Thea.reaexperienoesacool -temperate 'climatewithannual oftheorderof177-228omsoThishas to tiledevel0I? mentofrainforestvegetationand peatysoils.Thefirebreak effeotsofNewRiverLagoonblockingfiredamage fromthewesthaslefttheslopesofthe Bluffuntouched bythisagent.Somesectionshavetheappearanceofhavingbeenburntdueto a numberofdeadtrees,butthisphenomenoninfact,.relatestothenatura-lprocesswh'ereby lYyrtle" is.replacingtheoverageEuoalyptforest.Therapidvariationinaltitudeandtemperaturehasresultedinvegetationofa widerangeoftypesandpatternsgivingan cross-sectionofthe.south-westflora.InthisaspecttheforestsofPrecipitousBluffareincomparableandofimmensevalue...SOUTHERN"C.AVER(14, )OCTOBER 1975

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PB201SEVERANCECAVEfloorCHILDRENS'CHILDRENS'DIGSurveyedonthe1973expeditiontoPrecipitousBluff(17)byA.PaveyN.Montgomery,JCater,K.Dekkers. cvCRG2 CRG3 @-@ CRG1 @-@ CRG4MAPNo.7PB201.SCS1 n 8mpitch PlanearthbankProjectedSectionon3450.passageat .:. ..streamlevelOm302050401060o5 10 1520metresN

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THE CAJING SOCIETY TheSouthern Caving SocietyExpeditiontoPrecipitousBluff was organisedinresponsetotherealisationthatthe'PrecipitousBluffbattle vJa.san in tvllich speleologyhad alargestake,eventhough daves constitued a: minor part ofthe attracti6nstotheprincipleobjectors:to the The basic bydrawingtogetherspeleologists .in: awide rang'e ofdisciplines,toendeavourtofurther speleologicalinfornntionwasavailableontheareaoThiswasanattempttofurtherthe case forthearea'spreservationoEXPEDITIONP.ARTICIPANTSBELL,RosalindMember, SouthernCavingSociety, TasmanianCaverneering Clubo IVIember, NewZealand.Speleological SOCibtyoliIDDLErOl\f, Greg(Bo 0Co )FISIIER,Chris GLEESOI\T,Leigl1 KIER1\JJli'T, Kevin(Leader) DEKKERS, KeithMember, Western AustralianSpeleologicalGroup, ZealandSpeleologicalSociety DUNKLEY, John (BoEco), Dip.Edo-Member,BungoniaCommittee; Sydney Univorsity Speleological Society; EditorAustralianSpeleologicalFederationNewsletter.Member,Universityof N.S.W. Speological.Society. nfumber, SydneySpeleologicalSocietyoMember,SouthernCavingSociety.Member,SouthernCavingSociety;Tasmanian Club; LakePedderActionComrllittee. -Ivlelnber,Sydney Speleologica.l Society;COI011gComnlittee;BungoniaCommittee. RADCLIFFE Peter. t SOUTHERNCAVERMember,SydneySpeleologicalSociety; New ZealandSpeleologicalSociety.Member,Universityof .rTGS.frl. Society;NewZealand Bociety; BungoniaCommitteeo Memberw Universityof P.SoWo SpeleologicalSociety. SouthernCavingSociety;Tasman.ianCaverneeringClub.OCTOBER1975

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EXPEDITION Ebcploration The acllievement"layinexplorationof thelea,se andtIlediscoveryofseveralcavesthereinoAt tIle northernextrem....ityDamper CavePB1wasextendedtodouble its previousknownlength.Afurtherquartermileof passage wasdiscoveredwhenaparty swam acrossadeeppoolwhichhadstoppedapre'vious' partyin 1961,toentertheextension v/filCh includessome w:e11 decoratedsections {see Survey andPhotographpage)oOnepartyswamintotheunexploredoutflow,entranceofPB3todiscoveracave1km.inlength iil1ith g'ood-decorat'ionandseveralotherentrances0IthasbeennamedQuetzalcoatlConduit(see'SurveyandPhotograplls)0Surface exploration towardsthelimestonehillproposedasaquarrysiteby IVIin ral fIolding"s, disclosedthataccesstotilisarea was,contra;ry 'tostaten10nts, madeby a .. ..lvlineral IfoldingswitnessatDevonport,notinacceBsibleoIn addition7 the area was interesting.Irnnlediatelyatthefootofthehillisavalleysituatedatleast15metresbelowthelevelofthebutton'grassplain.Thisvalleycarriessomedrainage thehillandalongthemarginoftheforestedareatosinkintothemouthofPB2070Theremaybeotherminorsinksinthevalley.Thehillsideabove,PB207islnarkedbyaseriesofverticalpotsincluding PIQ04,-PB205tPB206,.lihich maylead dOvln intothePB207system. rrOl1e ofthese entrances h.as' bgen' exploredOnehole \-laS fou.nd above"WG1per Cave maygiv-e accesstothatsystemfrom 35moabove0 Ea.st andto.the north of Damper Cavetilediscoveryofpotholesabout250m.upthehillsiderepresentedthefirsttimeanat-tempthadbeenmadetolocate and entertheholesrumouredto exist'on themountainitself.PB201wasexplored-toadepthof82m.andtwoother small potsfound .Furthernorthagain,apotholewasfoundnear blockedswalletofthecreek f19wing inthesecondvalleynorthof Pr'ecipi tousBluff.Ithasa'18m.entrance shaft,-butWEtSnot exploredoIn PB2wasalso.visited.Thewater intoakarst atthe-,e'ntrance-ofQuetzalcoatl Cond-\,;1.i tPB3passesthroughthiscavebeforejoining with the waters flowingfrom todebouche NewRiverLagoon.Surfac'eexplorationalsoestablishedthatLimestoneCreek"appearstolie southof'thesouthernboundaryoflimestoneof any significantlocalrelief.Itispresumedthat any cavesoccurringtothesouthofthispointwouldbewater filled, althoughthiscould tobeanerroneousassumption. SOUTHERN CAVER (18) OCTOBER197.5

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A' boat voyagesome5kmoup IJeTrl Ri fromthenortllerhendofthelagoonresultedinthelocation of alargenumberof creeks flowingfromtheeast,although nocreekowere followedupnorthof Damper CavePB10Thepotential 1nthis regardremainsveryhigho.'PB1Damper Cave, PB3QuetzalcoatlCanduitandPB201 Sev-rence CaveweresurveyedTheentrance area ofPB207 sketchedto Grade 2.BioloicalInvestiatioT1S .,i-. Biologicalcollectionduringtheexpeditionrepresentedthefirst collectionknownto undertakeninthearea,withalarge number ofspecimenscollected from onthesurfaceoTodate Dositive identificationhas beon receivedforonenewspeciesof the' beetle genus Idacarabus.Dr.Barry ofC.Sor.R.Oo,Canberrawhoidentifiedthespecimenhascommentedthatitbears :more to10troladesthantotheothermemberofthe Genus ,r.16.ordicollis,butislTIOreslenderoHesuggestedthatthe :enus Idacarabuswouldprove:toberepresentedbyasinglespeciesfromcertain cave areasandgeographicallyisolated in occurrenceo ClfvE LISTPBo1 CAVEOutflowstreamcaveover1kmolong, lowroof italust 'deep poolsJgo-od" decoration,endsinsmall mu:'dJr:passages. Tee1961,extensionsallbeyondpool mSCS1973.PBo2-Un-named s-ir'eaJn-"'Gav'e ..100molong passing through ofhill talus, deep er discovered' arid explored TCe 19610:".,..PBo3COjJDTJIT : Very wet.... 1 l-c10 oftenwithvery.. deep'V.;ater andlittleair srace, four ent'rances', two chambers, i11two.rnain entranco ;disc.bvored' Tee 1961.,:',8xploration SCS'19730 ".'PB201 CA""tE edpothole 82 fi1.deep vIi th r{lain shaftof24m. goodd.ecoration.inlower levelso' IICS1973PB.202PB.203PBo204.. :,shaft;) ...... 7 PBo205slopeoSmallpot-hole20m.deep.Smallpot-llole bloclred tllclayUnexploredholeinridgenorthof PBo2077 slopeleadsto10m.otherholesinsamedolineoUnexploredholesouthofPB.204,verticaldrop3.5motosteep SOUTRERN CAVER CTOBER1 975

PAGE 17

By Ko trIo Kier11an ..-.,_ _-.._.LI I{illSTOIrE Introduction ";>', !from"ti-ffiGto'timeva,rious encroQ,c11merlts been,made"upon fi1aP..yJ?:trts oftheSouth tiest, intIleformof hYd:ro.-el,ectric'dev:elopmehts9 tIleactivities o"fextractive iIldustries, but somemininginterest. Elrly geologicalreportsofhigh grade limestone at PrecipitousBluff giventhe area aconsiderablereputation.It as a consequance oftIlede'velopmentofsuchtalesoflegendaryri'chesthatthe South-vlest Committeecameintobeingin1962, a ofgroupsinterestedintheSouth-westanditsfuture asa whole,concerned that carefulplanningandconservationshouldminicnise any progress-based dcvrnage tothe ctreaoOp.e oftIlefirstactionsoftheCorrunitteewastoasktIle "State Governn18ntforthe'estab1ishme11tof'-a 'fauna reserve"c.ov,eringtheentireSouth tvestar.eao ,A:rQJ..ll1d sametimethecommittee alsoasked thatthe"Government re"'-'"openand improve tIle "South' C'oast-t'raek' for bu.shwal,kcl"'S. Thistraok hadorigi11ally been built asa meaSllreto fa,cilitate escape of ship-wreckedfis110rmen.The Governn1ent acce'd'edto..the second request,thenew track lyingslig11tly i:uland fromitspredecessor'.This vlL1S d011eatGovernmentexpe11se t.hroueI1the Public, .Department' vvh.ich' C'o11iinues .. t-:omaintai!l, thetrackyearly and provideboatsat 'the NewRiverCrossing. ;::,,0 tllattinletIleareahadno form of reserVe status,theonlyreservein existence South-westbeinganareaof2400hectaresatLakePedder,wellinland km;of PrecipitousBluff.Thishadbeen' gazetted as,a nationalpark in1955- ."l.__ ..." ...' I!lMay, 1965,amidrrtmblings that: tothePedderPark W2S beingcontemplated, establishedan interdepartmentalcomrnitteeof,enquirytoconslderthefuturedevelopmentoftheS.';ri.Iti11cluded' romHyd,rp-Electric Commi,ssion,ForestryDepart-nlent andlands andJurveys Dept1rtmento TIle South-lrlestConuiritteesought membersllipbut was 'refusedo ''The to onApril7th,whotookthefindingsto parliamellt on l4:ly' 31st."'. thenprepareda master-plan' ofits o:wn fortheplanneddevelopmentof the;South-1vest, zoningthearea',for oftourism,faunaprlotection and otherpurposes, and seeking the establisllmentof a largenewl1ationalpark. SOUTHER]T CAVER(2)OCTOBER 197.5

PAGE 18

PB.206 -UnexploredcavewithtwopotentialentranQes, main oneconsistsofverysteepmudslopedroppingatleast 605 m.PB.207 Unexplored inflowcavaslightlybelowlevelofbuttongrassplain, aroundproposed quarlJf site,strong draught.? impressive ei1.trance 5m. 1FJide and106mo atfootofsmallcliff.PB.208-Unexploredhole270f110abovelagooninsecondvalleyoffPrecipitousBluffcliffs.Entranceisa14m. shaft nearblockedswallet.PB.209 -Elongateholedropping3m.to45degreemudslope,situated33ID.abovePB.1andto northe Unexplored0 .Notes ontheabovelistingmethod ThelistaboveisinaccordancewiththepresentsystemofTasmaniancavenumbering,wherebythe Tasrnanian CaverneeringCluballocatesnumbers1-100in area, the,NorthernCaverneers andtheSouthern C;],ving So.ciety The ca"\Tes listedasPBo1-3abovewerenumberedbypaintingtherockfaceoutsidethecavein1961. The "numbersarestillvisibleOfthe inthe200series,PBo201, PB.204,PB205,PB.206 PB.207were numbered by meansofsmallaluminiumiagswiththenumber punchedthereonoTimedid not permittaggingofPB.202PBo203,PBo208andPB.209oHowever,forreferencepurposesitwasdecidedtofollowtheNewSouthWalesprincipleofallocationof numbers eventll0ughthecavesbe 110t physicallytaggedatthe time. Numberswerenotallocatedforother tothe systemfounddurillg the pourseof'exploration.'Oftheabovecaves,allbutPB.1,PBo2and PBo3were in1913.Photographs.o.pposite:1.P.B.fromNewRiverLagoon2Affixing I'lfumb'er... 3. V.ie\"1 and toDamper Cave(PB 1)4 .. ''Karren Surfo.ce atSurprise'BayS.E.ofP.B.,, '., AndrewPaveyExaminingLarge .Stalo.ctl teinPB7.SOUTHERN CAVER (20)OCTOBER 1975

PAGE 20

SPELBOLOGIC.-'iL Tho1973triptoPrecipitousBluffdidmuchto clarify rumours andguessworkwhichhadcloudedthe area inspeculationinthepastfewyears. itpr8vious tripby asIna.ll tearnin'1961laidtheoundationformuchoftheworkdonein1973,throughits'discoveryandexplorationof fumperCa-\Te PBo1for360 mo, discoveryandexplorationofPB.2anddiscoveryofthe ofPBo 3, nowknown asQuotzalcoCltl Conduit. Iillwovor, timeandmanpowerpreventedthatteamdoinganythingin en attempttoestc"blishtheboundariesofthelimestoneorexanli11ethehigherslopes.Subsequontly bushTrvulkers reportsof shafts l1ig'honthemountainsuggestedthelimestone relief tobeasmuchas620fi.Itisnowknownthattheunconformitybetween t' elimestoneandoverlyingJ.ormiansedimentsliesataroundthe305'n1.level,withthe limestone bedsa9parently". impuro,al1dshaloyandinitialswalletdev-eloprnent at around290Ill.T11e eXclct locationoftheunconfirmityisobscuredbythesoilmantleoOt11rreportsfromwalkers stillsug:gest tIlereliefmaybo 11igllerinother loca,li ties,notably t!lG sO'llthern, cnd oftheInountain. A largeunexplorodswallet kJ.l0vlnas: Vanislli11gFallsliesonthe NoEo sideofthemountain at anelovationof400m.thewaterevidentlyrGsurgingonly200m.lowersome3kmototheNorth-westOfthepot-holesdiscoveredbehindthe only two wero explored, the deopestbeing a system82ffiodeepwith a shaftof24m wasfoundtobe northwards alongstrike pot-ll0les nearbytnJere notGxploredduetolackoftime,thoughanumberofsmallerholes foundto be blockedwithclayoThus,whilethelimestoneis sep:1rated fromthedoloritebyPermian,it appeurs clay r0sulting frombreakdownofdolerite,will'stillpreventexplorationofsomeof pot-holesnearthe unconforrratYt throughtheirblockagewiththismaterialo TvJO majoroutflowcaves lJere explorod,both"round1km.inlength,(despiteincOfi11)lete explora,tion)e'cnorally lowroofed(102to108ffio)butwithhigher containingsomedecorationoVerycoldwatern1akes 'tvet suits a mustfordeepl)oolsand. streamvvayso Itwould appear thatdrainageintothehigherpotholes coalescesuponroachingapnroximate vadose base lovel atthein:nermost parts oftheoutflowcavesoExplorationatthefar ofonerevealedalargenumberofsmall tribut ariesenteringtllecomplextllrougllasystemofclay-c11okedpassagesDevelopmentalongstrikefromthenorth thecavestobesooewhatlongerthancouldbeexpectedbydrainagedirectlywestwardsfromtheunconformitytothelagoon.Biologicallythetripprovedmostrewardingwith the collectionofa numberofnewspecies.Thearea'sgeographicalisolationfromotherkarstareassuggestedthepotentialexistenceofsuchspeoiesoAmplescoperemainsforfurthercollection.SOUTHERNCAVEROCTOBER197.5

PAGE 21

romthe pointvie ofsportcavingthe'cavesareexcell.entoftencontaininglongstretchesofdeepwaterwithcomparativelylittleair space, andlongshafts.Ofthecavesfound,severalremaintobeexploredinadditiontothefarextremitiesof ConduitPB.3wheresignificantairmovementcontinuesthroughanair ofsome 10ernoaboveverydeep 'Ylater inthe streamwaJ'. Furt.hertIleareaprovidesexpedition-typecavingtrips,wllicharebecoming,increasingly populare ToplacePrecipitousBluffthen,incontextwithotherTasmalliancave areastit couldbesaidthatithasnowreached Umajor"status, beingoneofonlyfiveareaswheremaximumcavelengthsareknownto exceed 1km.Thereisnodoubtmanymorecavesawait Totheinevitablequestionastowhetherthe caves-are suitableforpublicdisplaythroughtouristdevelopment,itcanbeansweredthatconsideringthe area's presentisolationitisnotfeasible.However,itwouldbe phYsically possible,anditmayprove that, givenadequateprotection, the cavescouldwellprove a touristresourcetofuture genera tionswhenothertourist caveshave beendestroyedthroughthe'pressuresofover-use.Inviewoftheareasspeleologicalvalues,togetherwiththeindisputablevalueofthesurface the'conservationofthekarstofthisareaisofparticularlyhighpriority.,,PhotographsOpposite:1.PhilGlasby at toPB 32_ P.,Ratcliffe&K.KiernaninstreamPassageofReeceCave(PB 207).3 K.K1ernanWalkingUpstream4.GregM1ddleton.5. PB 3stream.6.Greg.Middleton relaxesat Upstream ofExplorationinPB'3. SOUTHERN 'CAVER (24)OCTOBER 197.5

PAGE 23

attempts' been madetogain National Pa.rk (St,J,te' eserv,e) statusforthesouth...easterncoastal area"principallyby the"South-v/estCommittee,as',8. very part ofitsaspiratiolltoseCUriJlgasla'rgea part ,ofthe'South-west 3,S possibleaspalland 0 The lat'1gec1.nd growi11gbodyofpublicopinion,,expressed'throughtheComr1ittee,haslongvaluedPrecipitousBluffand:NewRiver basin,and,sOllg11t i preservation.Unwillingnessofthe logisl:1ture11<18frustrat ed all.'approache,se The ,hasbecome "a" politicalfootballwithpro and anti conservationist elementsinadministrativepositions,and ,aof'governmentsofeqUally diverseattitude pan ering to:the wishesofdifferingfactions.Int'hemidst'ofthissituation only the South-1 est Corrunittee hastriedtoobjectivelyevaluate'theareaoItsfirst masterplan: perhaps,cameclosesttoconserv-tionistsideals,theexpressionofitssecond having ,bowed to' somedevelopmentsasinevitable,butwouldappearmore, r:,asonaqle toanygovernment0Thefindingsofthe1967,Inter-departmental'enquiry haveboen madepublic.Itsrefusalto'allowconservationists ropresentation suggeststhatit may athavebeen a,;n objectivein approach 'asdesirable,beingatbestseriously inadequate toexamineallthe values cOlcerned.Clearlythen, isaneedfirstlytoevaluatetheareaandits'differing ,potentia,lfunct_Lons,and secondlyto act to,ensure adequate'protect,fo'n, of its naturalvalues 1rlh,-'re theirpriorityhasbeen ,. })ue to encfoac11mel'lts upontheSouth-Westinspecificareassuchas Lake, 'Podder,Cockle Creek andPort Davey therehasbeena'tendencyto regardtheregl.on as' anumbE-:r of units vaguelylinkedbygeographical rather thanas a singleunifiedwhole.Toa ..ain e.xtC?,11thas beendictat;edby'expediency,an,dindeedhasshown reportthough on lilnited'scale.However,thereis,a cleartq' recognisethe oftheregionas condituting an in itself, witn' its"rnajor'features inter;..Q.ependant andtotallyreliant upononofor'overall integrity, 'just as Vii thin sectionthefeaturesarethGmselvesinterdependant:atPrecipitousBluffforinstancetheaffectofthelimestoneand'itscaves,diverting underground vegetationdevelopment.'"Specificaliy,the mining lease propou':-)l forthehillsnear Precipi to"usBluffhaswide implfcationso It vvould domorethanaffectthe area, although t:lis isnotrecognisedby Holdings,who att'oll1pt to'justi'fytheirproposalbystatingthattIlepotentialquarrysiteistwomilesfromPrecipitousBluff, which theyregardasbeingthesummitdoleritecliffsonlyoTotheaveragewalkerhowever,SOUTHERNCAVER(27) ,OCTOBER 1975

PAGE 24

\.ProcipitousBluffincludestheentirefoothills area, andNewRiverLagoon thelastlargewildornesswater leftinthoSouthWest. Theestablishmentofaquarry and facilities theproposedsitewoulddespoilthe frommountain p8aks for nules around andconstitute a majorscar U:RQ;1,"t h,e ,fa.ce ,,0 f" the'South-West0Consideringtheareain'aspecificligIlt the affectwouldbe catastroplric, threateningtheintroductionoffiretoanunburntwildernessofincolnparablei.nterest and', value, alrGady in vlide byoutdoorrecreationellthusiastso'Oneofthemost'readilyacce'ssible'spursofPrecipitousBluffwouldbedestroyedalongwithfineviewsofthesummitobtainablefromthatpoint.The'tranquility and natureoftheareawouldbedespoiled,itslimestonocavesandscientificvaluesdestroyedo JoH.Hemsleyformerchiefwildlifeofficerfor Tasmania, saidattheDevonportmining lAlardens courthearing ftthearea shouldundoubtedlyhavenatio11alparkstatuso U Indeed,thesouth-easterncoastal area, including Bluff, and Peakisaparticularlyimportantsectorupon which any proposedreserveisheavilyreliantoItisalreadypartofthe est Area mustbe dedicated as pare ofthenationalpark.The oftileSouth wildernessisgreatlyunder-.rated.The,;.total regionarfoul1ts tolittlemoretl1an2millionacres,only4739000acresof v/hich is prese.:ltly parklando Cornpar-ed tonational parks nowbeingestablishedin'otherpartsoftheworld,notablythe thearGaofwhichisoftenseveralmillionacres,itisnotunreasonabletoconsiderreservationoftheentiresouth-westoFirstly, it ITltlStbebortne .in mind that'as the,lasttemp,"ratewilderl1essinllLlstralia it m'.lstservetheneedsoftheentirenation.Theextentofpresent usage,. mail1landvisitors can begaugedtosomeextentbytheexpeditionrepresentationshownelsewhereinthisreporto'Therightof to use tho'nationalassetthatistheSouth;-lestSllouldbeas asthe right of Ta"smanians tousetheGreat Reefor AYersState boundariesandparochialattitudesshouldnevercompete 'with theinterestsofpeople.overall.Secondly,itmustbe thattheSouth-Westhas alrGady sufferedsevereencroachmentsandconsequentreductionofeffective by. fores't'ry operatio11s arid the Itrdro ElectricCommission.Asoutdoor incrGasinglytotheforefrontofnational life, fragilewildernessissubjectedtoincreasingpressures.Notonlymustpresenttrends needs berecognised,butthoseofthefutureanticipated.Deteriorationofparklandsthroughoveruseis aseriousprobleminsomeoverseascountrieswhererestrictions hadtobeplacedonaccessoTheneedforwildernessmustbeestablishednowwithsatisfactoryand permanentstepstakenforits protection forposterity,assuchalandscapeoncedestroyedcanneverbe Theoptionsmustbekeptopenforthelongest timeoSOUTHERNCAVER.(28) OCTOBER1975

PAGE 25

........"" '.Ifafterestablishmentofparkland,thenationalneedforadevelopmentwithinaparkboundarybecomesindisputable,thenampleprovisionexistsforsuchtobewrittenintothe manaceraent planforthatparkoTheproposaltomineintheNewRiverLagoonbasinnearPrecipitousBluffisin diroet ... G.on.fli.qt\vith theprinciplesofCOl1l1Gr. vatio11.. ,Itwould:irllfl1ediately options,destroythe'. 'a:-sthet'ics' of.-the together' wit.h its andpossiblyitsscientificva1u.es. may scar ..:'a damage Cl'tmiquG forest,destroya major' lirnestbne lifeforms found no elseon,eart.hThqpresentna.tional"and eventhestatesituationrenderssuchdevelopmentofthe ar0a. andfoolhardy.One canonly: .. hope tl1at the.:a,pparentintGrst beingSllOwninthe'South-West'bythe heraldsnew thinkingand a recogrlition""C-ft.hen.E?ed t.otakeinitiativoson a nationallevelto protectAust.ral:ta'sfil1est wi:lderness ,'oven'ifsuchactionisinCOl1flict w;i. th'parochi'al, ... ;..... .'.SOUTHECAVER(29)OCTOBER197.5

PAGE 26

Thebulkofthisarticlewaswrittenshortly efter theSociety's expediti6n toPrecipitousBluffwith'theintentionthatitbeissuedasaseparate ihdependentof'nSouthern Cave'l-tfT. For.variousreasonstheproject fsiled tomaterialise. Vfi ththe ha.nclingdQwn of,thedecisionof,'thelastf,ullcourt appeal, and"thepublicat,ionoftheDraftManageme11tPlanfortheSouthWes'tNationalPark,in,terestrevived.,andasnosatisfactory aCcolUltof the Socie-cy'sexpedition,,'\ toPrecipitousBluffhad appea:ced. inthisj ourn01, the,opportunity \AlaS takento upda.Jeet118 article' hnd.rectify thesituation. Vvemus-t acknowledgethewor,kofSteveHarris in thesectiondealingwiththecourthearings-SOUTHERNCAVEROCTOBER 1975


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