At a time when the world’s most influential park managers are meeting in Sydney for the World’s Parks Congress our national parks are under the spotlight. Conservation groups are calling for a national approach to how Australia’s system of magnificent national parks are funded, managed and protected.
The peak community advocacy group for national parks and protected areas in Australia is the National Parks Australia Council (NPAC). At the conclusion of the NPAC annual conference, President Michelle Prior calls for greater Federal leadership and investment in protected area management. "Australia's national parks are a national achievement, worthy of national recognition", she stated.
"The bulk of national parks in Australia, the jewels in the crown, are managed by state governments, with little federal involvement. The federal government could do more by funding and legislating to ensure our national heritage is protected", said Paul Donatiu, Executive Coordinator of the National Parks Association Queensland.
“Australia’s system of national parks is the envy of the world. However, there is still much to do to ensure that our country’s natural areas are protected for future generations”, said Kevin Evans, CEO of the National Parks Association of NSW.
“National parks remain the cornerstone of Australia’s conservation efforts contributing billions of dollars to the national economy every year”, said Matt Ruchel, Executive Director of the Victorian National Parks Association.
“National parks are a key part of brand Australia and our national identity and the Australian Government needs to take a greater role if we are to maintain our international leadership by protecting our unique natural heritage” said Rod Griffiths, President of NPA of the Australian Capital Territory.
“Australia’s national parks are the foundation of our efforts to protect nature and they provide respite and recreation to millions of Australians and international visitors each year” said Nicki de Preu, Conservation Ecologist with the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia.
"The NPAC unites some of the oldest and most active community based nature conservation organisations in the country including the VNPA, NPA NSW, NPAQ, NCSSA, NPA ACT & TNPA and urges the Federal government to:
- Allocate $500 million over five years for strategic National Park acquisitions across Australia.
- Reform the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to improve the security of our national parks and list these areas as Matters of National Environmental Significance.
- Focus future national park and other protected area acquisitions on critical habitats including climate change connections and refugia sites.
- Develop national conservation land management standards that ensure national parks retain the values that led to their gazettal.
Media Contacts: Michelle Prior (NPAC): 0414 490 610, Kevin Evans (NSW NPA): 0457 797 977, Matt Ruchel: (VNPA) 0418 357 813, Paul Donatiu: (NPAQ) 0428 670 878