Can you believe it? We’re nearing the end of the planning process for Point Nepean National Park. It started close to 20 years ago, and got up a head of steam when the Quarantine Station was returned to Victoria in 2009 and opened to the public.
But then it fell in a hole when the Napthine Government leased a huge chunk of the park to a property developer for a luxury hotel and spa complex.
Well, that proposal is history and we’re now close to having a plan that maps out a protected future for the entire park.
Draft master plan
On 5 December, Parks Victoria released the draft master plan for the park. The final plan is expected in April or May of next year.
During the rest of December and through to 10 February 2017, Parks Victoria is hoping to get feedback from the community on the plan’s objectives and content.
It’s not a bad plan and provides the foundation for protecting the natural and cultural values of the park, but there are three areas that are of concern.
The first is the proposal for a large jetty at the Quarantine Station smack dab in the middle of the sanctuary zone for the endangered Burrunan Dolphin. The jetty will encourage many more boats to use the area where the dolphins live and cost a bundle to build, money that could be better spent on managing and maintaining the existing park infrastructure.
The second issue concerns proposals for new buildings in the Quarantine Station. The plan currently proposes three but may also ‘allow opportunities for potential new buildings as required’. The Quarantine Station contains heritage-listed buildings that can and should be adaptively used for a variety of activities without the need for new buildings.
And finally, the implementation plan provides no guidance on how the community can be engaged in the future planning and management of the park.
We will be focusing on these points in our submission to Parks Victoria.
Have your say
We encourage you to download and review a copy of the draft master plan from the Parks Victoria website and send in your comments. You can submit your comments through Park Victoria’s online survey, email them to [email protected] or write a letter to Point Nepean Master Plan, Parks Victoria, Level 10, 535 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.