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Parks Victoria is developing a new state-wide ‘Land Management Strategy’, and has invited public comment on its guiding principles. This is just the first stage, but it could set the scene for how our national parks and the many smaller reserves across the state are managed.
The document will set the direction of management for Victoria’s park estate: over 4 million hectares of public land, the great majority of which is made up of around 90 national and state parks and marine parks. However the estate also includes over two and a half thousand smaller nature conservation and other reserves, all of which make valuable contributions to nature conservation.
While a consistent approach to managing all of these areas is important, it’s also important to acknowledge the clearly legislated, unambiguous objective of national park and state park management: the protection of our native plants and animals and the all-important habitats that sustain them. In this day and age, that means reversing declines in condition, so our parks are healthy and thriving.
The draft Aspiration Statement and Guiding Principles for Parks Victoria’s Land Management Strategy can be found at engage.vic.gov.au/lms and submissions are due by midnight on Sunday 29th September.
While the draft proposals are generally good, and we want to show support for them, there are a few improvements that could and should be made to this important document. We suggest you take a few minutes to read the brief Aspiration Statement, and the eight Guiding Principles and then:
- Check in as an ‘interested community member’
- Say you ‘slightly oppose’ the Aspiration Statement, and add as a comment that the word ‘resilient’ is not strong enough – we must reverse declines in native ecosystems in Victoria.
- Fill in the website’s Guiding Principles table:
We suggest you then add, in the Guiding Principles comments box:
Guiding Principle 1: While maintaining and strengthening the parks estate is a very good aim, there should be a clear acknowledgement of the important role played by national and state parks, and marine national parks. Currently, national parks are not mentioned anywhere in the Guiding Principles.
Guiding Principle 5: Protecting the state’s natural values is important enough, and difficult enough, to warrant a section of its own. There is a raft of state and national legislation calling for protection of nature, and a complex range of threats to be dealt with. Cultural values are also important, but generally have different challenges, and so also warrant their own section.
And you might like to add some comments of your own…
Submissions are due by midnight on Sunday 29 September.