Originally written by SHANE FOWLES
FORMER AFL footballer Michael Long has done it … now Portland identity Lynn Murrell has announced plans to “walk the talk”.
While Long set out from Melbourne on his Long walk to Canberra, Mr Murrell aims to walk unassisted the entire Victorian coastline, from Nelson to Cape Howe, to raise awareness of coastal environment issues.
The estimated 2000km journey will begin on January 4 at the South Australian border near Nelson, with plans to finish 109 days later on the New South Wales border.
Serving on numerous coastal organizations over the past 30 years, Mr Murrell is hoping to raise awareness of the diversity of the coastline and highlight the many pressures being applied onto the limited resource.
“I am going to walk what I have been talking about for the past few years,” he said.
As a volunteer on the Friends of the Great South West Walk committee, Mr Murrell would like to see the 250km walking trail extended to cover the entire Victorian coast.
“Why can’t we have that going along the whole coast of Victoria?”
Mr Murrell is backpacking and camping for the entire trek, and although he will have no assistance or support team, he welcomes anyone wanting to walk sections with him.
He aims to reach Portland on Saturday, January 8, on day five of the 109-day journey.
Mr Murrell says the Victorian Minister for Environment, John Thwaites, wants to get politicians, including Premier Steve Bracks, to accompany him on some of the journey to talk about the management of Victoria’s coast.
He will be making a documentary of his trip, and will be posting regular reports and pictures as the walk progresses on his website www.walkthetalk.ws.
Mr Murrell served on the Portland Town Council for more than 18 years, including a stint as Mayor from 1980-82.
He is a member of the Victorian Coastal Council, chairman of the Western Coastal Board and serves as a volunteer on various environmental organisations.