We commissioned one of the most respected biodiversity management consultants in the land, Biosis Research, to make an assessment of pest plant management in Victoria’s national and state parks.
Biosis concentrated on management issues in three parks: Wilsons Promontory and Great Otway National Parks, and Warby Range State Park, and consulted Parks Victoria rangers and park managers.
Among their conclusions were that Parks Victoria should:
- Accelerate its planned biodiversity monitoring program to ensure weed control actions are effective in achieving the stated aim of improving park values and biodiversity.
- Ensure weed management does not have to rely on temporary ‘initiative’ funding, but should be adequately funded as part of the ongoing ‘annual appropriation’.
- Ensure clear, explicit and approved weed control plans should be available for all parks to assist rangers in planning the weed control program.
- Enhance the skills and knowledge of rangers in identifying and monitoring natural values that may be impacted by weed control activities.
- Increase the number of staff dedicated to weed control, particularly where there are likely to be conflicts between weed control activities and other park related tasks.
- Undertake detailed weed threat mapping across all parks to establish a baseline from which weed control programs can be measured.
- Commence monitoring natural values as an integral component of the weed control program, and allocate specific resources to the monitoring of natural resources in the weed control program.
- Upgrade the EIS to make it a more effective tool for the recording and planning of weed control actions in parks as it relates to the protection and enhancement of natural values.
- Seek and sponsor research into the biological control of environmental weeds in parks.
Importantly, following this Biosis report, Victoria’s Auditor General performed its own inquiry into the issue, and confirmed Biosis’s findings.