Brian Everingham, Parks Management Committee
Plans of management (plans) for reserves managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) set out what can be done within reserves. It is a requirement of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 that a plan be prepared for each reserve.
The draft plan is publicly exhibited and submissions are sought on it. This is where you come in!!!!
Your Branch and the Park Management Committee (PMC) will be looking at draft plans, but it is hard for one committee to have direct knowledge of all of the 870 reserves in the state. There are many members who may know particular reserves well and are able to provide pertinent comments about them. The draft plan includes information on how to make a submission.
To keep track of what plans are on exhibition go to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) webpage: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Topics/Parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/Park-management/Park-plans-of-management-and-statements-of-management-intent
Currently, the draft plans for Doodle Comer Swamp Nature Reserve, Tollingo and Woggoon Nature Reserves are on exhibition. The following draft plans are likely to be exhibited in the next six months: Bents Basin State Conservation Area and Gulguer Nature Reserve, Hill End Historic Site, Royal/Heathcote National Parks and Garawarra State Conservation Area, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and Lion Island, Long Island and Spectacle Island Nature Reserves, Kemps Creek Nature Reserve and Kalyarr National Park.
Amendments are also proposed to the plans for Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Sydney Harbour and Mount Kaputar National Parks. Keep an eye on that DPIE webpage, as further draft plans may be exhibited later this year.
The DPIE webpage gives a link to the draft plan for your selected reserve. There is also a link to an additional document called Planning Considerations. You should download both documents. The Planning Considerations outlines the matters considered in preparing the draft plan, including the reserve’s key values, management principles and management considerations. It is a wealth of information about the reserve’s context, geology, native plants and animals, feral pest and heritage values. You never know – you may know information about the park that is not in the Planning Considerations document that you can include in your submission.
After public exhibition, the NPWS provides the relevant regional advisory committee (RAC) and the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council (AC) with the draft plan, all submissions and a report summarising the submissions. Then the relevant RAC and the AC consider these documents, make comments on the plan or suggest changes, and provide advice to the Minister for Energy and Environment, who adopts the draft plan with or without changes.
Do not be afraid of this process. Please engage with it. Better still, provide your thoughts to your local NPA Branch and contact PMC if you have questions or concerns about the draft plan. Please also send written copies of what you want to say to the PMC. You may know the reserve better than anyone else.
Email your submissions to NPA
Park Management Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Parks Association of NSW: email@example.com